Support and provision

The Quality Standards: Early years support for children with a hearing loss aged 0 to 5 (England) sets out what good support and provision should be.

Collaborative working between health care professionals must be prioritised to support the needs of the ‘whole child’ and their family.  As outlined in box 2.2 (Early Intervention) there are a number of agencies and professionals who will support deaf children and their families.  Even more so for deaf children with additional needs.

The NDCS resource ‘Supporting the achievement of hearing-impaired children in early years settings’ offers advice for professionals working with deaf children aged 0 to 4 on effective support, deaf friendly teaching and improving outcomes.

This resource aims to help professionals

  • understand the needs of a deaf child
  • make sure the environment and activities in your early years setting are accessible for deaf children
  • enable the deaf child to make progress towards achieving early learning goals, particularly in the area of language development
  • make sure any hearing technology used is working to its maximum potential.

The Early Support Informed Choice – families and deaf children professional handbook sets out how professionals work with families to share information with them, so that families can make decisions on what is right for them.

An important part of reviewing the effectiveness of support and provision made is the ongoing monitoring of the child’s development and progress.  Assessment should not be regarded as a single event but rather as a continuing process.  An early assessment of need, in terms of medical, social and emotional and educational needs, is essential to secure and define appropriate service provision.  Families speak highly of the reassurance they get as the child moves on from this starting point.  However as the needs of the child and the family will change over time so the characteristics of effective support for these needs will also change.  At each review it is important that a clear plan with longer and shorter term aims should be drawn up with the family and progress towards them considered.  All professionals working with the family need to play their part in realising these goals.