Top 10 tips for the team supporting a child with hearing loss
by CID staff
A new school year is fast-approaching, and be it virtual or on-site learning, teachers everywhere are preparing for a new class of students. At CID, we want to ensure that when a teacher or other professional acquires a student with hearing loss in their classroom or on their caseload, they are prepared. Below, are the top ten things for those new to working with children with hearing loss that CID teachers, speech-language pathologists and audiologists consider essential to know.
1. Have a basic understanding of how the student’s hearing devices work.
Hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM/DM systems can be intimidating, but knowing the basics (key features, how to change batteries and troubleshooting) is important to ensure that the student has access to sound throughout the day.
2. Understand the student’s audiogram, both aided and unaided.
Knowing what sounds the student can hear with their device(s) and without, is critical for setting appropriate speech, language and listening goals.
3. Know how to conduct a Ling Sound Check.
A Ling Sound Check is a quick and easy way to determine if a student’s devices are working. This is especially important for students who are not yet able to report a dead battery or broken device.
4. Get in the habit of checking for understanding after giving directions.
Students with hearing loss may miss some information presented orally. After giving directions, especially multi-step directions, check that the student both heard and understood the information.
5. Be aware of background noise sources.
Classrooms can be noisy with various sources of background noise (ex: humming lights or fans, traffic in the hallway, running air conditioning units). Recognize these sources and control for them as best you can.
6. Realize the importance of repetition.
Students with hearing loss learn new words and language structures by hearing them over and over again. This is important to remember, especially when teaching new vocabulary words.
7. Providing visual support can aid in comprehension.
Supplementing oral information with visuals is always helpful, whether it be a picture to accompany a new word or concept being taught or writing assignments on the board.
8. Conversations with multiple speakers can be challenging.
Students with hearing loss may have a hard time with the fast-paced and back and forth nature of discussions.
9. Know who is on the student’s educational team and what their roles are.
There may be a variety of professionals on the student’s educational team (ex: teacher of the deaf, SLP, OT). Know what service each professional is providing, so you know who to approach for what.
10. With the right supports in place and a knowledgeable team, the potential for students with hearing loss is endless.
Students with hearing loss have unlimited potential. It is crucial to hold them to the same standards as hearing students and continue to have high expectations.
To learn more about supporting a student with hearing loss in the classroom, please see our free download, Domains of Knowledge for Teachers of School-Aged Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. You can find this along with other free handouts by clicking here. Download references for hearing device checklists, the Ling sound check, the familiar sounds audiogram and more!
Are you interested in learning about customized trainings catered to your student(s) and team? Please click here.
And don’t forget to watch CID’s Quick Tip videos which cover a variety of topics such as troubleshooting hearing devices, how to complete a Ling sound check and how to best arrange your classroom to support a student with hearing loss.