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Hearing impairment

Children 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.

May have delayed language

  • Remove or reduce background noise
  • Where appropriate, use hanging objects to support sounds to bounce back to child level.
  • Ensure staff work together with other professionals e.g. Sensory Support Team
  • Use appropriate seating and visual materials – see Individual Plan and One Page Profile for requirements.
  • Ensure instructions are specific and delivered clearly and at an appropriate volume
  • Check instructions have been effectively communicated and understood, particularly when delivering new information, and/or using unfamiliar vocabulary. Provide gesture or visual cues to support this such as basic Makaton and re-visit the instruction with the child if not understood. 
  • Repeat / rephrase pertinent comments made by other children ensuring the children accesses those comments.
  • Be aware the children may use lip-reading and visual cues 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 other visual prompts), 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. Therefore, planned 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.
  • Consider the environment e.g. carpeting, soft furnishing, rubber feet on the table and chair legs etc. will reduce noise
  • Seat 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 children to ask when not sure what to do.
  • Establish quiet spaces within the environment, particularly for specific listening work.
  • Ensure all staff and visitors who work with a child with HI are aware how best to support. They should be familiar with the child’s one-page profile and Individual Plan.  
  • Arrange for adults working directly with children with HI 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 children
  • Staff employ techniques to monitor and support all CYP with noise levels.
  • CYP are given prior warning regarding fire alarms. If appropriate an alternative exit route is used.

Last updated 30 November 2020

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