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Young people with mild to moderate hearing loss

Experiences of young people with mild to moderate hearing loss: Views of parents and teachers

This research explored the experiences and views on children and young people with mild or moderate hearing loss from the viewpoints of parents and teachers.

Children with a mild/moderate hearing loss are likely to present as having only minor difficulties. They are likely to develop spoken language, and to be intelligible to their teachers and hence not to be identified as having major issues related to hearing loss. However, they may mishear at times in the classroom, and have greater difficulties in listening over distance and in noise than their hearing peers all of which may have a significant impact on the learning experiences. These difficulties may lead to behaviour challenges in the classroom, when the child, or young person, is not clear about what is expected, and misunderstands. In addition, they may be more likely to be later diagnosed, and at risk of later, or less, support.

In times of financial challenges for educational services, and where services are being prioritised, those children with mild/moderate hearing losses may be those where services are cut, as their needs are not as apparent as those with greater losses. However, as recent evidence shows, the impact of such a hearing loss can be significant for educational attainment.

The main issues which arose from this research were:

  • The terms “mild” and “moderate” to describe the hearing loss do not describe its impact
  • A bigger impact of the hearing loss on family and education than generally recognised by others
  • Greater levels of effort for the children and young people in school
  • Social and emotional impact on child or young person
  • Family adjustments required to meet the needs of the child or young person
  • Parental recognition of a greater impact on education: parents wanting 1-1 support
  • Lack of deaf awareness in mainstream schools

For a full report, please download from here: The Ear Foundation - Mild-moderate Hearing Loss - Parents Professionals.pdf

For further information on this study, please contact: sue@earfoundation.org.uk or zheng@earfoundation.org.uk