Supporting a child with an Hearing Impairment

Another of my leaflets that I designed ready for an Ofsted Inspection so that my colleagues had strategies to hand to support a child with a Special Educational Need barrier, and thus enable them fully to achieve


This is about how to support a child with an Hearing Impairment.


The type and degree of deafness will most likely impact on the learning style and need of a child.

A hearing impaired child will have delayed literacy development as reading is a skill based on language acquisition.  This lack of literacy skill will then impact on all aspects of the access a child will have to their curriculum, and will therefore affect their self-esteem / confidence.

Everything done in a school depends to some extent on the child’s ability to hear well.  Any child who experiences difficulty in hearing the voices of adults and children will be disadvantaged and their development affected.  In order to understand and support these children it helps to have a basic awareness of the function of the ear.

At a primitive level – there are many sounds in the background that helps us to identify where we are. The sounds in the home are different from those in school.

At a signal warnng level – we use our hearing constantly to monitor the environment. Understanding what is happening around us when we cannot see events gives us security.

At a spoken communication level – although the human ear responds to a great variety of environmental noise, it is at its most sensitive when respondng to the sound of the human voice.  Speech develops naturally because we learn to listen, process, copy and practice.  There is a huge incentive to success as we are continually rewarded by increasingly complex interactions with others.

A Hearing Impaired child will not have the full use of the above, if any at all.


Strategies to support a child :-


  • Speak clearly but do not shout.  Many pupils will have some form of hearing aid and these are very sensitive.  Sensory Support are usually involved with Hearing Impaired pupils and will advise of the sort of equipment the child is using as they start at school.  They will also advise if any change is made in the future.
  • Sit the child as close to the main speaker as possible.  For example, at the front of the class by the Teacher.
  • Encourage the child to develop their abilities to think or express themselves.
  • Encourage children to join in groupwork as very often a Hearing Impaired child will feel isolated.
  • Provide additional information especially from visual/listening sections of the lesson as a paper version for the Hearing Impaired child to follow.
  • Check the child has understood the task you require them to do and if necessary recap
  • Speak to the child when facing them and not whilst behind them.
  • Allow ‘time out’ if the child becomes tired or irritable.
  • Encourage other children to speak clearly
  • Endeavour to create a good listening environment.
  • Talk to the child about what is their best way to learn and where is best for them to sit.


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