Babies are screened in their first year for hearing loss. Hearing loss is described in four levels: mild, moderate, severe and profound. If hearing loss is picked up early, specialist Teachers of the Deaf, health visitors and other professionals will work with the child and their family to develop communication. They will link with the Education department so that we can help support the child before they start school.
Deaf children may communicate differently. They may use British Sign Language (BSL) and/or lip read. They may use digital hearing aids, cochlear implants or other sound systems.
For many children, hearing loss can be temporary, developing as they grow older. 80% of children will have an episode of glue ear by the age of ten. This is the most common cause of temporary deafness.
Children with emerging hearing loss may:
- Not respond when called
- Watch faces and lips carefully
- Ask for things to be repeated
- Ignore instructions, or get things wrong
- Watch what others are doing before trying something
- Ask for help often
- Seem to be daydreaming
- Talk too loudly or too quietly
- Not join in
- Be tired, frustrated or alone.
Any hearing loss will affect listening skills, language development and literacy skills. It can affect concentration, memory, social skills and self esteem.
How will my child's school help?
Teachers can help children with hearing loss in classrooms by:
- Making sure the child is facing the teacher and paying attention, before talking
- Speaking clearly, naturally and at a normal rate
- Not covering their face with their hands while talking
- Not walking around the room or turning around while talking
- Repeating what other children say
- Ensuring that one person speaks at a time
- Avoiding noisy equipment such as printers or projectors
- Keeping noise levels down, as hearing aids amplify all noise
- Using key words, topic headings or visual aids to show when there is a new conversation
Parents and carers should speak to their child’s school initially if they have any questions about their child’s hearing or sight.
The Local Authority has several specialist Teachers of the Deaf (TODs) who are available to assess and support your child’s education as required. It also has specialist primary and secondary school provision which may be suitable for children with the most significant hearing losses. See Specialist Provision.
Sensory Impairment Manager: Sallie Durbridge 01267 246406
The following websites may be useful for more information:
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