Six tips to help your child start primary school

Starting school is an important milestone in any child (or parent’s!) life. If your child has a hearing loss, here are some tips to make the journey a little bit easier:

1. Meet with teachers and tour the school before starting

This is a great way to get to know the environment your child will be learning in. It’s also good to meet with the teachers to discuss what’s best for your child and how they can help. Have a chat to your child’s year coordinator, principal and support staff to find out what services and devices are available.

2. Make sure they get the right support for their level of hearing loss

Children with a severe/profound hearing loss might be entitled to additional support in class, such as a note taker, interpreter or classroom assistant. You can discuss this with the school before the start of the year and find out what’s available. Having this extra support can help your child keep up with schoolwork and achieve their full potential.

3. Invest in equipment to improve their learning

There is some great technology available that can help understand the teacher in the classroom, such as the Roger Pen. These microphones amplify the teacher’s voice over background noise, which will help you child lip read or better understand what they’re saying. Just remember to keep it charged before class!

4. Encourage them to get out there

A great way of helping a child make friends is by encouraging them to join a club or group, like debating, chess or drama. It’s also important for them to relax, socialise and take time for hobbies.

 5. Store spare batteries

If your child’s hearing aid uses batteries, make sure to pack extras to store in their bag or locker. Better to be over prepared than under prepared.

 6. Participate in a sport

Participating in a sport not only boosts a child’s confidence, health and fitness, it also creates a sense of belonging. Being part of a community can boost a child’s self-esteem and lead to greater achievements at school. It’s also a great way of making friends. Deaf Sports Australia has a great program that educates and empowers kids with hearing loss on the benefits of participating in sport. 

Throughout their school years, your child will make new friends and discover their passions. Encouraging them to get involved and providing ample support will help them to get off to a good start and get settled in quickly.