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If staff suspect a child has an undiagnosed hearing impairment the first response should be to discuss this with parents carers and advise them to seek medical advice from their GP. Educational settings should not attempt to assess hearing impairments themselves.

For children with a diagnosed sensory impairment, educational settings, parents carers and hospital-based health professionals can make a referral to the Sensory Support Team. This referral must include medical information from a hospital-based health professional, before the referral can be processed.

A visit from the sensory support team is likely to include an Advisory Teacher of the Hearing Impaired who will offer personalised advice on appropriate strategies, adaptations and interventions if appropriate.

Visits may include consultation or a more detailed assessment which could include:

  • Classroom observations, management advice and training for key staff
  • Speech discrimination and language assessments
  • Environmental assessments
  • Parental support on issues relating to hearing loss.

Advice may also be provided through

  • Regular audiological reviews and monitoring by the Health Authority.
  • Speech and Language Therapist.
  • Other specialist teams who might be supporting the student include Audiology Departments, Cochlear Implant Centres, Community Pediatrician, Educational Psychologist and Children and Family Officer, School Nurse.

For further support

The Royal National Institute for the Blind and local support groups such as The Blatchington Court Trust, and Look Sussex can provide both formal and informal support for those affected by visual difficulties and their families.

More general information about services available for children and families in West Sussex is available on the Local Offer website and parent to parent support is available from the West Sussex Parent Carer Forum.

Last updated 10 September 2020

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