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Hearing impairment

Indicators of possible ‘hearing impairment’

  • The child or young person may mishear words or instructions and need reinforcement and reassurance before beginning task.
  • Fluctuations in attention, may struggle concentrating.
  • Difficulty in understanding peers in group discussions or in noisier environments.
  • The child or young person may have delayed language.

Provision and / or strategies:

  • Remove or reduce background noise.
  • Where appropriate, use hanging objects to support sounds to bounce back to child level.
  • Employ techniques to monitor and support all children and young people with noise levels.
  • Give prior warning regarding fire alarms. If appropriate use an alternative exit route.
  • Ensure staff work together with other professionals e.g. Sensory Support Team. Ensure all staff and visitors who work with the child are aware of how best to support them.
  • Use appropriate seating and visual materials – see the child’s Individual Learning Plan / One Page Profile for requirements.
  • Ensure instructions are delivered clearly and at an appropriate volume.
  • Check the lesson content has been effectively communicated and understood, particularly when delivering new information, instructions or homework; and/or using unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Repeat / rephrase pertinent comments made by other children and young people ensuring the child can accesses those comments.
  • Be aware the child may use lip-reading and visual clues to support their hearing. Ensure that they are face on when you are giving instructions. Try not to move around the room whilst talking.
  • Be aware of non-verbal communication including eye contact, body language and facial expressions.
  • Use visual reinforcement (pictures and handouts), to support learning, as well as pointing and gestures.
  • Use visual timetables and visual cues such as sand timers, to support sharing.
  • Be aware that during physical games and activities, particularly in large open spaces, it will be more difficult to follow instructions. Activities may need to be adapted.
  • Consider that words spoken on an audio/visual recording may need a person to repeat what is being said, provide written copy and/or use subtitles.
  • Consider the environment e.g. carpeting, soft furnishing, rubber feet on the table and chair legs etc. will reduce noise.
  • Seat the child away from any source of noise e.g. window, corridor, fan heater, projector, the centre of the room etc.
  • Provide prompts for good listening behaviour: sitting still, looking and listening.
  • Encourage the child / young person to ask when not sure what to do.
  • Establish a quiet spaces within the environment, particularly for specific listening work.
  • Ensure all staff who work with a child with hearing impairment are aware how best to support in school. They should be familiar with the child’s One Page Profile, or equivalent.
  • Arrange for adults working directly with children with hearing impairment to have appropriate training i.e. British Sign Language (BSL), Makaton, Say it, Sign it.
  • Work together with other professionals to share strategies and advice to support the child.
  • Employ techniques to monitor and support the child with noise levels.
  • Give prior warning regarding fire alarms, If appropriate use an alternative exit route.

Last updated 3 November 2021

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