Children with impaired hearing may require different SEN support depending of their degree of deafness. They may require speech and language therapy or a radio aid to hear a teacher. Conditions may range from a child simply needing a hearing aid to those who are profoundly deaf.
Unlike many other SENs, a child with mild or moderate deafness who wears a hearing aid and no other learning difficulty may get on fine in a mainstream school if there is reasonable support.
A severely deaf child can hear up to 70 to 94 decibels. They rely heavily on lip reading, even with a hearing aid. A profoundly deaf child can only hear above 95 decibels and may need to use British Sign Language.
To get on in a mainstream school , deaf children will need teachers who have special training and qualifications.
Children with hearing impairments sometimes overlap with other SENs. Auditory processing disorder is sometimes connected with dyslexia, ADHD or autism. Children with Downs Syndrome often have hearing impairment. Thus, each child needs to be assessed for multiple impairments.
If a child can be taught phonics and sign reading at an early age, they will usually make reasonable progress with adequate support. There are a number of specialist schools in most counties for the profoundly deaf or those with additional complexities.
Parents are advised to contact the National Deaf Childrens Society (http://www.ndcs.org.uk/ ) which has a huge amount of online resource on deafness.