Mild and moderately deaf children left behind at school
New NDCS research shows that nearly half of all children with mild and moderate deafness are falling behind in mainstream school.
The report, published during Deaf Awareness Week, cites poor acoustics, background noise, understanding speech at a distance and lack of staff awareness as contributory factors.
The report’s authors argue that the terms “mild” and “moderate” do not adequately reflect the impact described by parents and professionals. Unless properly supported, children with a mild loss can miss between 25% and 50% of what the teacher says in class. This can lead to them falling behind in their learning, in particular in spoken language, reading, writing and spelling. For children with a moderate loss, the amount missed is over 50% and the challenges even greater.
The National Deaf Children’s Society is calling for:
• parents and young people to have access to more information about the potential impact of mild and moderate hearing loss and the support available
• teachers to have greater awareness of mild and moderate hearing loss and the steps they can take to minimise its impact
• local authorities to ensure that services are sufficiently resourced to provide the necessary support for children with mild and moderate hearing loss
The report Marks Deaf Awareness Week which runs from 4 – 10 May. National Deaf Children’s Society is also busting a series of deaf myths and inviting supporters to take part in a Big Cake Bake to raise vital funds for services for deaf children and their families. Find out more at www.ndcs.org.uk/mildmoderate