What hearing support is available in primary school?
If your child has a hearing loss, starting school poses new physical and social challenges. It’s an exciting milestone, but some children (and their parents) feel nervous.
Kids worry about standing out from the crowd, keeping up in class or taking part in new activities like sport or music. Luckily, there are support options available to help them thrive in primary school – in the classroom and with their new friends. So, where you can find support?
Department of Education
Your state’s Department of Education provides support for students with hearing loss in mainstream schools. At the start of each school year, meet with your child’s school and create a support plan based on their needs. This could include:
- regular itinerant support from a visiting specialised teacher
- private support services working within the classroom environment
- teachers using remote microphone technology to reduce background noise and provide better sound clarity for your child
- access to a specialised hearing unit and facilities in some mainstream schools
- noise reduction adjustments to the classroom environment
- specific seating arrangements for your child
Use the links below to find more information about the public-school services websites in your state:
NSW VIC WA QLD NT ACT TAS SA
Online support groups
There are many online support groups that provide a network and community for parents of children with hearing loss. For example, Parents of Deaf Children can introduce you to local groups for opportunities to share experiences and learn from others in similar situations. Aussie Deaf Kids also has an online parent group offering support and information.
Starting school brings a whole new set of things that you need to keep on top of, from school uniforms to permission slips. Make sure hearing loss isn’t a hassle by getting organised from the get-go. Here are some tips:
- If your child’s hearing aid uses batteries, store extras in their bag or locker. Please be mindful of battery hazards, if your child is too young give spares to their teacher for safe storage. See this factsheet for more information
- Develop a routine for morning hearing aid checks and regular battery changes
- Label your hearing aids with, “If found, contact [mobile number]”
A positive attitude
Your child will watch and learn from you. Model a positive attitude and acceptance of their hearing loss at home, to help them feel more comfortable and confident. Encourage them to get out there by starting a sport or joining a school club, like debating, chess or drama. These groups are an important support avenue for your child to develop hobbies and passions, as well as making new friends.