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Education of Children with Hearing Impairments

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Authored by Kristian Keefer in Child Education
Published on 02-25-2009

Many children with hearing impairments are able to succeed within the public school system. Some children with severe hearing impairments attend schools for children who are hearing impaired and deaf. These schools are becoming fewer and farther between. Many children with hearing impairments are able to learn to communicate well with their peers. Children can learn to speak well and to read lips to help them interact with fellow students who are not hearing impaired.

As with any disability, early intervention can help with the education of children with hearing impairments. Students who work with an audiologist can excel when they enter into school and as they progress through the grades. Children can learn to master sign language before they even enter into grade school.

There are some devices that can help with the education of children with hearing impairments. Of course, this depends upon the type and severity of a child’s impairment. Some amplifiers can be used by students in a classroom to help them hear their teacher if their hearing is impaired but not non-existent.

Early intervention is necessary to ensure that children with hearing impairments develop good language skills. Children who do not have help from the beginning often do struggle with communication, reading and even other subjects in school. This is why parents, children, school districts and audiologists need to work together as a team.

Children with hearing impairments are in most cases able to be a part of the mainstream classrooms. There is no need to place a hearing impaired child who otherwise has no learning disabilities in a special education classroom. Of course, some students who did not have early intervention or who have more advanced language difficulties along with their hearing impairment might need additional special education requirements.

Hearing impaired students often need to have an interpreter. The individual will sign for the student so that they know what the teacher and other students are saying. The interpreter will also “talk” for the hearing impaired student if they are not able to speak well or if the children and teachers have difficulty understanding.

If a child has a mild hearing impairment that can be aided with the use of technology, they might not need to have an interpreter. Some students learn to effectively read lips. However, they might still need assistance since students and teachers will not always be facing in their direction making it impossible to read lips. Many students with hearing impairments are able to develop good speech and do not have any trouble talking to teachers and other students.

A school district must create an individualized learning plan for any students with hearing impairments. The plan will identify the methods needed to maximize the ability of the students to excel in the classroom. A parent must meet with the school to ensure that they have written a learning plan. Parents must be actively involved in their child’s education so they can be assured the learning plan is being carried out and that all steps are being taken to provide their hearing impaired student with the best possible education.

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