• difficulty following instructions through not hearing all the words clearly.
  • tiredness – the effort of having to listen carefully can lead to poor concentration and frustration.
  • difficulty with social interaction, especially in noisy environments.
  • self-confidence in speaking and being understood.
  • issues owing to patchy learning if hearing issues were not resolved when the child started school.
  • undiagnosed Colour Vision Deficiencies (colour blindness).

You can:

  • Always make sure the child is in the optimal place to be able to hear. Make sure the child is able to face anyone who is speaking to them, in good light. Ensure the teacher does not stand silhouetted with light behind them, as the child will not be able to lip read.
  • Back everything up with visual clues, reducing important points to a minimum of words so that meaning is clear.
  • Plan the introduction of new vocabulary so that it is relevant to context and spoken clearly. Get the child to repeat back new words so you know they have heard correctly.
  • Support social interaction between children and encourage turn taking.
  • Work closely with a teacher of hearing impaired children, or an audiologist. If one ear is better than the other, establish which, and find out which frequencies are more of a problem.
  • Ensure the noise level in the classroom does not get too high, as the child will not be able to discriminate sounds.
  • Play games that require careful listening in a quiet environment.
  • Concentrate on very clear consonants and clear mouth movement. See if speaking more loudly is necessary, but be subtle as to avoid the child feeling embarrassed.
  • Use sign language to support the child if they are used to this. (Makaton supports speech, by signing key words. British Sign Language is a language in its own right that takes the place of speech).
  • Allow the child time to process what they have heard and to respond. 

Read National Deaf Children's Society guides for parents and teachers.

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