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We use the term ‘deaf’ to refer to all types of hearing loss from mild to profound. This includes deafness in one ear or temporary hearing loss such as glue ear.
At birth, all babies are screened for their hearing. The first test is an Otoacoustic Emissions test (OAE). If a baby does not respond to this test, they may have an Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) test. This will be done in an audiology clinic.
Your baby will see an Audiologist and an Audio Vestibular Consultant who will consider the diagnosis and the options to follow. They may be fitted with hearing aids.
A Teacher of the Deaf may be referred to help you and your baby. This includes support in using amplification equipment, understanding the diagnosis and helping your baby’s communication development.
If you’re worried about your child’s hearing, talk to your GP or health visitor, who can make a referral to an audiology clinic.
If there is hearing loss, the audiology department will refer your child to the local hearing impairment team. This is called ‘SENDsuccess’ in Waltham Forest.
A Teacher of the Deaf may visit your child to offer support and advice to you, teachers and school staff about what will help. This could be advice about the diagnosis, classroom strategies or supporting your child in understanding their hearing needs.
If your baby/child is fitted with hearing aids, the SENDsuccess hearing impairment team will contact you to discuss the diagnosis.
A Teacher of the Deaf will also contact you to talk about their role. They’ll discuss any concerns you have around education, access, social opportunities or early language and communication. It's also an idea to meet other families and children with hearing loss.
Your child will need to continue to attend regular appointments in the audiology clinic, to monitor and continue to share information about their hearing.
There are a number of organisations that can offer help and advice.