Hearing impaired and deaf children

Children and young people with permanent hearing loss may get help at nursery and school and special equipment to help them hear better.

Hearing tests

Babies are given hearing tests in the first few hours of life.

If you think your child might have a hearing problem, speak to:

  • your health visitor – if your child doesn’t go to school yet
  • your doctor (GP)
  • the school nurse at your child’s school or your child’s teacher

They will arrange a hearing test for your child.

If your child has permanent hearing loss

If the hearing tests show that your child has permanent hearing loss, they’ll be referred to our Hearing Support Service.

An educational audiologist from our Hearing Support Service will work closely with a paediatric audiologist in the NHS.

The NHS paediatric audiologist will:

  • assess hearing levels
  • fit hearing aids
  • help your child to use their hearing aids or cochlear implants

Our educational audiologist:

  • will assess your child's hearing levels to understand what help they need to hear better at school and home
  • may offer radio systems or other listening devices at your child’s nursery or school

Help for your child

Pre-school children

Your child will get help at home and at nursery from a specialist teacher of the hearing impaired or specialist practitioner to:

  • use their hearing aid or other hearing equipment
  • develop their listening and language skills
  • work with families to develop skills to fully support your child

We may also offer the opportunity for your family to go to a support group to meet other families who have a child with hearing loss.


We will assess your child’s hearing, language skills and how they’re doing at nursery or school. We’ll then advise you and your child’s nursery or school about what your child needs to make sure they reach their full potential.

Your child may get extra help to make sure they progress as well as they should.

In school

Your child will get help from a specialist teacher of the hearing impaired.

The teacher may:

  • help your child to develop their language and listening skills
  • observe your child in class and offer advice on ways to support them
  • provide advice to the school on how to create good listening conditions
  • advise and train other staff at the school to help them teach your child

Other help

A technician from our Hearing Support Service may:

  • repair your child’s hearing aid or arrange a replacement
  • provide help to make sure a radio system works with any hearing equipment your child is using

Information technology (ICT)

If your child needs extra ICT equipment to help them with learning, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at their school will refer them for an assessment.

Every school and nursery has a SENCO. They’re responsible for identifying children with special educational needs and disabilities and making sure they get all the help they need.

Support groups and activities

Search the Family Information Directory for local support groups and activities for your child and your family.

The National Deaf Children's Society has lots of information for families and links to local support groups.