Child has device fitted to accomodate hearing loss

Did You Hear Me? How to Talk to Your Child's Teacher About Hearing Loss

Page Content

The air of nervousness and uncertainty that comes in the fall can only mean one thing: the start of a new school year. The first day of school is always stressful, but if your child is experiencing hearing loss it can be much worse.

Unfortunately, while hearing loss may be more common, in children, than you would expect – 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the U.S. are born with hearing loss – not everyone knows how to deal with it. Wondering how you can make your child feel more comfortable in the classroom? Here’s what you can do to help.

Talk to Your Child’s Teacher

Before the new school year starts, it’s important that your child’s teacher is aware of the situation. Depending on the severity of loss, the use of a frequency-modulated (FM) system may be necessary (and are common in many schools). These units may work in tandem with your child’s hearing aids or cochlear implants to help them better understand what’s happening in the classroom. Your school system or hearing care professional will be able to explain how this works.

In addition, taking the time to speak to your child’s teacher will help clear up any possible confusion. Here’s what you should talk about:

  •  The extent of your child’s hearing loss. Does your child suffer from hearing loss in one ear or both? Does your child wear cochlear implants? Are certain sounds harder for them to understand than others? Letting your teacher know these types of details will help them be better informed.

  • What to expect. Try to schedule a visit to introduce your child to their new teacher before the new school year begins.

  • Establishing a routine. Children with hearing loss often have a harder time following along in class—especially in noisy environments like the cafeteria or playground. Work with your teacher ahead of time to help set routines and procedures.

What Teachers Can Do To Help Accommodate the Student

For teachers, knowing the severity of a child’s hearing loss and how it works will help ease the communication process. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t yell. Yelling distorts your voice’s natural rhythm, which makes it harder for a child to hear. Loud noises do very little to help a child hear. Instead, lowering background noise and speaking in a slow, controlled manner is a better solution.

  • Hearing aids and cochlear implants work best within a distance up to six feet away. Sounds further away may be garbled, distorted or lost. Therefore, make sure the child is sitting near the front of the class.


  •  Don’t speak when your back is turned. Children with hearing difficulties often rely on lip reading to help them understand, so it’s important they’re always able to see your mouth.

  • Children with hearing loss tend to learn more visually. As such, incorporating the use of pictures and images while lecturing may make it easier for the child to follow along.

  • Set up a system for the child to alert you when they’re having trouble following along in class. Simple hand gestures go a long way and are a great and discreet method they can use to let you know if they are struggling.

While we can’t promise your child’s first day will be less stressful, opening the lines of communication may help them feel more comfortable in the classroom.

If you’re concerned about your child’s ability to hear,what thay may look like or would like more information on hearing health and hearing loss, click here to learn more.