Deaf and hard of hearing children: features of development and education

If a person does not hear or has a weak hearing, then life becomes harder, especially for a child. It is important for children to hear, recognize the sounds of nature and speaking. A children's ENT doctor will help to cope with a similar problem. He may prescribe a course of drugs or prescribe another treatment. It is possible that the doctor will recommend special hearing aids for children. Without hearing, the child will not be able to fully develop.

It is worth noting that most deaf and hard of hearing children are born to parents who do not have such problems. For these families, the appearance of such a child can be a big surprise.


Speech of hearing impaired children depends on many factors:

  1. From the degree of hearing loss. That is, the worse he hears, the worse he speaks.
  2. From the period of occurrence of the defect. If hearing loss occurs after three years, then the baby may develop phrasal speech, but with some minor deviations in the grammatical structure, pronunciation. If the problem arose at school age, then errors usually occur in the slurred pronunciation of unstressed syllables, in the stunning of voiced consonants, etc.
  3. From the conditions in which the baby developed.
  4. From the mental and physical condition of the child.

The grammatical structure of speech in hearing impaired children is not formed to the necessary degree.

what is the speech of hearing impaired children

What is meant by “learning features” in children with similar problems?

A good solution for such a child would be a school for hearing impaired children. Loss of this ability has critical consequences for the development of cognitive (thinking) and linguistic (language) skills in children. The occurrence of other disorders in combination with hearing loss require additional learning features. Hard of hearing and deaf children often have significant learning difficulties, so you need to choose a special approach to the learning process. The prevalence of other types of disabilities in addition to hearing loss is approximately three times greater (30.2%) among deaf or hard of hearing people.

Causes of hearing loss in children

Why do children have hearing loss? As children's ENT doctors say, a similar deviation can lead to:

  • maternal rubella (2%),
  • prematurity (5%),
  • cytomegalovirus (1%),
  • meningitis (9%).

It is logical to assume that people with hearing problems are at high risk for additional impairment. Since, as you know, the previously mentioned etiologies are also associated with neurological problems.


deaf children

Most often, the following types of disabilities are recorded in deaf or hard of hearing children: mental disabilities and emotional / behavioral disorders. The prevalence of mental disorders caused by hearing loss is almost 8%. Concomitant emotional / behavioral disability was the smallest - 4% of cases. Students with concomitant emotional / behavioral impairment are characterized by a manifestation of inappropriate, destructive, aggressive behavior that interferes with the learning process.

Pupils with hearing loss and mental disabilities are characterized by a general developmental delay in all areas. They also have limited ability to solve problems, decreased adaptive or functional skills. Children who have a hearing loss disability typically have an average or above average intelligence level. They demonstrate skills and abilities in different ways, showing certain learning deficiencies that limit their achievement. Atypical behavior is inherent in them. These students are not making academic progress, compared with the documented parameters of conceptual learning that are found among deaf or hard of hearing students.

How are additional problems with teaching special kids identified?

hearing aids for children

Identifying additional learning problems in children with hearing loss is a complex and not easy task. Part of the difficulty arises from the fact that hearing loss in itself creates learning problems, which usually lead to delays in understanding the language and, as a consequence, to a delay in academic skills. Thus, identifying any other factors can be complex problems. Rational assessment methods using multidisciplinary teams are important in identifying additional deficiencies in deaf or hard of hearing children. This is especially true when you consider that the characteristics displayed by students with concomitant disabilities are often the same.

Who should work with children?

speech of hearing impaired children

The constant lack of language training, mental or emotional disabilities, poor behavior, difficulties with coordination of attention and poor digestibility of the material - all this applies to children with hearing impairments. Such specialists are usually involved in working with such children: school psychologists, physiotherapists, audiologists, and the necessary medical personnel (nurses, psychiatrists, etc.). The team of specialists should ensure a thorough interpretation of the results in accordance with the recommendations and suggestions for the educational program.

What questions should be asked when deciding whether to send a child to assess the level of knowledge?

Is the student deaf or hard of hearing and does hearing loss progress? This should be the first question when considering a grade for a student with similar problems. Researchers have described the parameters of language learning and academic progress, typically seen in deaf or hard of hearing people. Given the possibilities of studying with appropriate and effective means of communication, a student with this pathology should progress in the expected growth models and achievements. If this does not happen, you should ask questions about the reasons.

The loss of this ability brings with it many problems that affect the learning of hearing impaired children. However, deafness in itself is not always accompanied by the following problems:

  • attention deficit;
  • perceptual motor difficulties;
  • inability to replenish vocabulary;
  • persistent memory problems or consistent distraction behavior or emotional factors.

If any of these behaviors characterizes a student who is deaf or hard of hearing, you need to find out the possible causes that caused such problems.

What are the general strategies used to help hearing impaired children?

hearing impaired

It is very difficult to identify common strategies for such students. This is primarily because each individual training profile will differ, depending on the number and nature of various influencing factors. After some time spent searching for “correction” strategies, professionals are convinced that all students with hearing loss should have individualized approaches. It is indeed difficult for specialists in this field to compare the assessment training profile with the corresponding educational strategies to solve the problems identified. In general, some strategies may be useful.

how to teach deaf children

Let's look at them:

  1. Strategies for children with additional learning difficulties, which include a serious lack of vocabulary and a simple knowledge of syntax. This also includes working with images and graphic symbols to support speech will be useful.
  2. Teaching deaf children is more often associated with processing or understanding sound. Students with disabilities will benefit from the many oral rehabilitation methods used to improve listening skills. Behaviors that include well-defined options will be effective. Satisfying emotional factors through an educational program and individual or group counseling, when necessary, will also prove effective.

How to improve classroom performance?

Strategies to help improve classroom performance:

school for hearing impaired children
  1. The main emphasis should be on the visual perception of information. Visual perception by children with hearing impairment means the creation of a specific idea at the first introduction of educational material. Then the child has a concrete idea of ​​what is being discussed in the classroom. The teacher can move on to more abstract concepts of the topic. Many children with disabilities find it difficult to remember information in the learning process. Teachers should “make the language visible” so that students who have hearing problems perceive the material well. When teachers present information visually, students are more likely to remember the curriculum better and the level of memorization of information will also improve.
  2. Vocabulary replenishment. In order for hearing-impaired children to understand new words, vocabulary must be represented in various ways. The more attention paid to this, the more opportunities there are for remembering and using words appropriately. For a child to remember information, it must be presented in several contexts. It should also be served in a variety of the most practical ways. To learn a new word, a child must first study the context in which it is used. As soon as I remember this, the teacher can begin to use the word in different situations throughout the day. Children with hearing loss will be easier to remember the phrases that are most often used during the day.


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