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Hearing Impairment a Lesson for Teachers

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If a child has hearing aids, the teachers must learn to:

  1. Change batteries
  2. Clean hearing aids
  3. Adjust hearing aids if they malfunction

Hearing Impairment Not Previously Identified

Physical Characteristics

The child may:

  1. Have discharge from his ears.
  2. Have earaches, or complain of crackling noises
  3. Breathe through his mouth

What Else Could It Be?

Ear infenctions


Swollen adenoids

Objects in the ear

Note: All of the above may create temporary hearing problems.



Visual Impairment

Speech and Language Problems

Behavioral/Social/Emotional Problems

Some sounds are more difficult if a child’s first language is not English


Child may hear at some frequencies and not at others.



Behavior Characteristics

The child may:

  1. Lack attention; daydream; “space out.”
  2. Not follow directions; ignore or confuse spoken requests or directions.
  3. Have poor or delayed social skill be withdrawn or have aggressive/explosive behavior.
  4. Have poor balance.
  5. Turn or tilt head to one side (towards sound).
  6. Ask for instructions to be repeated, or answer questions inappropriately.
  7. Substitute, omit, or distort certain sounds.
  8. Have poor grammar and/or articulation.
  9. Complain of not being able to hear.
  10. Respond to some sounds/tones and not other.
  11. Seem to be imitating or picking up cues from others.
  12. Use hands excessively when talking.
  13. Have a voice tone which is often inappropriate; monotone; too loud or too soft; poor modulation of different tones; be hoarse or nasal.


  • Refer the child for a medical checkup. If the family does not follow up, inform the child’s physician about your concerns.
  • If a child has a history of recurring frequent ear infections, observe closely for signs of hearing impairment. A hearing test should be recommended if even a mild degree of hearing loss is suspected.
  • When accepting a child into your center, obtain a speech and language history
  • Try to obtain eye contact
  • In small group activities, team the child with a verbal classmate.
  • Use visual cues such as real objects, pictures, and felt boards to reinforce what you are saying.
  • Use many gestures to reinforce verbal messages.
  • Get down to the child’s physical level.
  • Use the child’s name when addressing him.
  • Be sure to speak clearly.
  • Give simple, concise directions.
  • Use simple language.
  • Encourage dramatic play and social interaction.
  • In responses, model correct response, correct pronunciation.
  • Do not pressure the child to repeat. Avoid making the child feel self-conscious.
  • Make up games in which all the children can participate and games that will aid this child in practicing certain sounds.
  • Use puppets, felt boards and other visual aids to encourage language and social interaction.
Ask Dr. Susan