Verified HearingHear to Learn
Hearing loss is catastrophic for pupils
It is well-established that hearing loss has a detrimental impact on speech and language development
Early identification of hearing loss is crucial
Early identification of hearing loss is a key factor to improve speech and language development and educational outcomes.
The new born hearing screen can miss some hearing loss cases
There are cases of permanent hearing loss missed by the newborn hearing screen, especially low to mid-frequency, or U-shaped hearing losses
Some type of hearing loss are difficult to detect
It is difficult for parents and carers to detect mild to moderate hearing loss, and for the child to report it. This is particularly the case for mild or unilateral hearing loss, which still can impact a child’s education and progress.
Children with congenital CMV are prone to hearing loss
90% of children with congenital CMV are born without symptoms and therefore the congenital CMV infection goes undiagnosed. Hearing loss is usually the only problem arising from the infection. The school screen is an important detector of late-onset hearing loss due to congenital CMV.
Pupils may suffer from late-onset hearing loss
Hearing loss can develop in children after the newborn hearing screen for a variety of reasons including but not limited to glue ear, meningitis, congenital cytomegalovirus infection, head injury, structural causes such as widened vestibular aqueduct, genetic causes, ototoxicity, etc. This is called late-onset hearing loss.
Some families have not engaged fully with audiological services
There are cases of children identified with hearing loss by the newborn hearing screen whose families have not engaged fully with audiological services, may not have accepted the diagnosis, declined audiological care, or moved away. The school screen also picks these cases up. They also pick up cases of children who have moved to the UK from an area without newborn hearing screening.
Signs of hearing loss in children:
- Inattentiveness or poor concentration
- Not responding when their name is called
- Talking loudly and listening to the television at a high volume
- Difficulty pinpointing where a sound is coming from
- Delayed speech and language development
- Mispronouncing words
- Change in their progress at school
- Change in behaviour
- Balance problems and clumsiness
Children at all stages would benefit from a school hearing screen if they have not had their hearing tested since they enrolled. Children of all ages attend our clinics with hearing concerns. However, it is most essential for:
The early years foundation stage. Critical to speech, communication and language development
Transition to secondary education.
- Late on-set hearing loss
- Temporary hearing loss due to outer or middle ear conditions such as impacted ear wax, glue ear, or any other middle ear conditions.
Check to ensure no outer ear obstruction is present due to occluding ear wax, otitis externa, or foreign object
Access middle ear function and ensure no glue ear or other middle ear concerns.
Check child’s hearing sensitivity at the four main speech frequencies is within normal limits
Process design and referral pathway:
Further information on managing hearing loss or ear conditions
The current situation in the UK has meant that referral waiting times to NHS services or longer than usual.
Hear to Learn is set up such that should a child need intervention for their hearing or any ear conditions requiring ENT, we can see them at our Wigmore St or Harley St facility for a more comprehensive assessment within 2 weeks.
Our team consists of paediatric audiologists and ENT consultants.
Recommendation for teachers
In cases where a hearing loss diagnosis is made, the school SENDCO or responsible staff would receive a copy of the diagnostic report with specific advice on how to make any necessary adjustments needed for the child in the classroom.