Deaf Kids Quickly Fall Behind Peers When Starting School

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A recent study has shown that more needs to be done to support deaf children in school, as they are already behind their peers by the time they finish their first year. 

According to government figures, 65 per cent of kids who are deaf will complete their first year without achieving a ‘good level of development’, in comparison with 34 per cent of all children. 

Susan Daniels, chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “Deaf children are just as capable as their peers and it’s outrageous that they’re almost twice as likely to be developmentally behind their classmates by their first year of school, because they don’t have the support they need.”

The charity noted that Early Years is a particularly important time for deaf children, as this is when they develop their language, communication and social skills. 

Failure to enhance these could mean they find it harder to listen and follow instructions in the classroom, are not able to keep up in conversations with their peers, and they feel ‘left out’ socially. 

Although Teachers of the Deaf can support these children in Early Years, the number of people who are qualified in England is now at a record low

A recent report revealed one in five qualified Teachers of the Deaf posts have gone over the last decade, and this could drop by as much as a third by 2030. 

Ms Daniels went on to say: “We’re failing deaf children and families.”

If you are worried about your child, book a free hearing test to find out whether they have experienced hearing loss.