We use the term ‘deaf’ to refer to all levels of hearing impairment in children, including a partial or total loss of hearing and children who have glue ear.
Possible causes include:
- a genetic (inherited) reason - around half of deaf children born in the UK each year are deaf because of genetics.
- complications during pregnancy.
- being born prematurely, this can increase the risk of a child being deaf or becoming deaf.
- a head injury or exposure to loud noise can damage the hearing system.
These causes of deafness are explained in more detail on the National Deaf Children's Society's website, however the true cause of deafness is only identified in 40 to 50% of children.
More information can also be found in the Deafness publication.
How do I get a diagnosis?
If you are concerned about your child’s hearing, we advise that you speak to your GP first. You can also speak to your health visitor, school nurse or other health professional.
They will refer you to an audiologist who specialises in identifying and diagnosing a range of disorders affecting the ears. They will be able to give you more information about:
- the level of your child’s deafness
- the sounds that your child can and cannot hear
- the next steps.
The Children's Audiology department is based at the Derby Royal Hospital.
Children may not need a diagnosis of any condition to get support at school. Your child’s school will do its best to give your child the support they need.
Support services for hearing impairment
Specialist Teaching and Psychology Service (STePS)
Our STePs team provides support for children with a hearing impairment.
They offer a range of services including:
- providing information advice, support and guidance to parents, families, carers and teachers of babies, children and young people with hearing impairment
- individual tuition
- in-class advice and support for CYP, teachers, teaching assistants and support workers
- audiological assessment
- language assessments
- training for school / early years setting staff in deaf awareness and specifically to enable them to support a named child.
For parents of children with a new diagnosis, STePS has produced a children and young people with hearing impairment leaflet.
To contact the STePS team, telephone 01332 641400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children's Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG)
The CHSWG is a multi-agency group of professionals and parents who are involved with deaf children. They want you to join in and share your views on what local services you need.
Derby SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)
SENDIASS offers free, confidential, impartial advice and support to parents, children and young people up to the age of 25 about Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They can also guide you through the SEND processes and procedures.
To find out more about the support that SENDIASS offers, visit the SENDIASS website.
hearWHO app - World Health Organisation
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed the hearWHO app which gives the public access to check their hearing status. However, if you have a serious concern, please contact your GP.
Hearing impairment blogs to follow
- British Deaf News is the deaf community’s leading online news portal, brought to you by the British Deaf Association.
- The Limping Chicken will help you find the most interesting, informative and thought-provoking deaf blogs, news and entertainment on the web.
- Bianca Birdsey has three deaf daughters. Here she sheds light on the journey of a family with deaf or hard of hearing children.
- Find daily insights, observations, challenges and frustrations faced by families with both hearing and deaf family members from At The Rim.
- Deafie Blogger is a blog about day-to-day challenges, real-life barriers and achievements in a deaf person's world!
- CamTAD Hearing Support is an independent charity, based in Derby at the London Road Community Hospital.
- Deafinitely Girly writes about the funny deaf-related things.
- Meet Luke Christian, the deaf lifestyle blogger!
- A collection of deaf blogs by young people