I have a hearing loss. What do I need to be ready for high school?

Starting high school is an exciting time. You’ll make new friends, start new subjects and get many new opportunities. There’s a lot to look forward to, but all this change can also feel daunting, especially when you have a hearing loss. If you’re feeling anxious, there’s no need. Work with your parents and your new school on a plan that will help you to settle in quickly.

What should I do before I start?

It’s important for you and your parents to sit down with the school and create a team that can support you along the way. Your family will know the most about your hearing condition, so take the time to help your new school learn about your needs.

The Department of Education also provides support for kids with a hearing loss at all mainstream schools. Ask the teachers to check what support is available so they can develop a plan to help you get the most out of your classes.

It’s also important that you don’t miss out on notifications. Let the school know that you’d like a clear process for communicating school bells, fire alarms or loudspeaker announcements.

If you’re comfortable with it, you can also ask the school to tell other students about your hearing loss in advance. If your new classmates better understand your hearing loss, they can communicate with you more easily.

How can I concentrate in the classroom?

Remote microphone technology can help you to hear better in the classroom by making background noise, like other people chatting, sound quieter. Don’t be shy about asking your teachers to use one so you can hear what they’re saying in class more clearly. You should also ask to sit close to the front, or in the best spot for you to avoid distractions that can make it difficult to follow what’s going on.

Your high school years are a time for becoming more independent, pursuing the things you love, making friends and having plenty of fun along the way. With a few simple steps, your hearing loss doesn’t have to get in the way.

Want to hear from some other kids who’ve already made the transition from primary to secondary school? Check out the video below.