Hearing Impairment

Speech and Language Therapists work with children and young people who have significant communication difficulties alongside hearing impairments. 

This can include hearing impairment due to Sensorineural deafness (inner ear hearing loss) or Conductive deafness (where sound can’t pass through the outer and middle ear effectively, e.g. due to glue ear).

A range of methods to communicate are used, including speech, Makaton, British Sign Language, and using visuals to support communication. 

Signs your child might have difficulties hearing

  • Not following spoken instructions, or responding when you call them if they are not looking at you
  • Often asking you to repeat yourself
  • Talking too loudly or too quietly
  • Needing the TV or sound on tablets turned up higher
  • Watching what other people are doing, and others faces closely
  • Getting tired quickly, particularly in situations with lots of listening

If you have concerns about your child’s hearing, please talk to your school or GP to arrange a hearing test. 

Top tips for communicating with someone with hearing impairment

  • Reduce background noise.Turn off the TV or radio, and don’t talk over each other.
  • Give your child your full attention when talking, and make sure you have theirs. Make sure your child can see your face clearly, by putting down your phone/magazine/any other distractions, and keeping eye contact.
  • Speak at your normal volume and speed.

More tips are shared by the children in this video by the BBC

Further information