Deafness and additional needs
The term ‘additional need’ refers to a health or developmental condition which impacts on a child’s daily life. At the National Deaf Children’s Society, we use the term ‘additional need’ to mean any disability or long-term health condition other than deafness.
This information covers some of the more common additional needs that a deaf child or young person may have or experience. If you have any questions about the additional needs your deaf child has or getting a diagnosis, get in touch with our Freephone Helpline.
Types of additional needs
If your child has any level of deafness as well as an additional need, it’s important to be aware of how their deafness and additional needs affect each other. Read our information on some of the different types of additional needs for an overview and links to other organisations that may be able to provide support.
Balance disorders can be difficult to detect in children as they can find it difficult to describe symptoms or understand what they're feeling. Find out more about childhood deafness and balance disorders.
Around 40 percent of deaf children have a problem with their sight or are visually impaired. Find out more about deaf children and vision.
Many children with Down’s syndrome have some degree of hearing loss. Find out more about Down's syndrome and childhood deafness.
Find out about how deafness and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) interact, getting a diagnosis and parenting a deaf child who has ADHD.
Both deafness and autism can impact communication and language, learning and mental well-being. Read about how deafness and autism interact, getting a diagnosis and parenting a deaf child who is autistic.
Information about what tinnitus is and how the effects can be managed for deaf children and young people.
Communication options for deaf children with additional needs
Many deaf children with additional needs can communicate effectively using the same communication methods as deaf children without additional needs, such as sign language, spoken language, or a combination of both. However, some deaf children with additional needs will need to use a more specialised communication method.