Early support for deaf children

Charities' work

There are several charities which support deaf children and their families.  The National Deaf Childrens Society provides support for Teachers by funding research and publications.  Some charities work with specific groups offering communication approaches which this MESHGuide has referred to.

The links on this page offer a selection of family stories about childhood deafness.


What is communication?

Here are two definitions of communication.

Communication - [noun] the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, signing, writing, or using some other medium.

Communication is the most fundamental of human capacities. People need to be able to communicate to fulfil their social, educational, emotional and vocational potential. Everybody has the potential to communicate.” - The International Communication Project (ICP)

How do children develop?

The main areas of development are: communication, attending/listening/vocalisation, social /emotional, play, physical and motor skills.  All these are important, but communication and language are the interlinking factors across the board.  For deaf children, therefore the focus is on the development of communication and language.

Below are some examples of tools to help track how children develop.

Early Amplification

Universal Newborn Hearing Screening has been implemented to detect permanent childhood hearing loss (PCHL) early, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes through early treatment.  Following early detection we should be aiming for early amplification.

Evidence from Research has shown that having a hearing loss in the early years of life can significantly increase the risk of not developing spoken language.  The risk can be decreased using technology which stimulates the auditory brain/language centre, together with high quality input and interaction.

What is Deafness?

The National Deaf Children’s Society provide two meanings of the word 'deaf'.

Hearing loss can be described by the following classifications:

Case Studies

This column provides personal accounts from different health professionals and family members of their experiences with deaf children.


This column briefly describes some of the approaches to communication for deaf children. MESHGuides on specific approaches to early intervention are currently being developed to enable the reader to explore these in more depth.


This column outlines typical childhood development and how deafness can affect a typical development trajectory.



This column provides evidence for some of the fundamental aspects of working with deaf children and their families and provides links to some of the key publications and research available.


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