Support for deaf children aged 0 to 5 years: Guide

Hitchins, A. Lewis, S. Holmans, A. Grover, A. Wakefield, T. Cormier, K. Rowley, K. Macsweeney, M. | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Hearing devices

There have been, and continue to be, significant advances in assistive hearing technologies, such as digital hearing aids, cochlear implants, hybrid or Electro-Acoustic Simulation instruments and other implantable devices.

For further information, see below:

The NDCS have produced some ‘how to’ videos for parents on checking hearing equipment.

Local Hearing Support Services and hearing aid manufacturers may also produce guides, videos and hearing aid care kits, to ensure that the equipment is in good order.

There are other technologies that work with hearing devices to give additional benefit for accessing sound.  For example, assistive listening devices such as radio aids can give better access to sound to help overcome the problems of distance and background noise.  

See Radio Aid MESHGuide and The Acoustics – hearing, listening and learning MESHGuide

The NDCS also have a helpful document on the quality standards for use of personal radio aids.


Hearing devices allow deaf children access to sound.  They enable the stimulation of the auditory cortex of the brain.  Here are some examples of research showing the benefits of good use of hearing devices in conjunction with effective intervention and support:

Moeller & Tomblin (2015)11 have shown that ‘excellent outcomes for spoken language can be achieved if children with hearing loss are fitted expertly with the most appropriate technology and if their families are supported with effective early intervention’.

Wilkins & Ertmer (2002)12 argue that amplification alone does not secure optimal spoken language development and learning.

Hoffman, Cejas, Quittner & CDaCI Investigation Team (2016)13 show that amplification alone does not support growth in other developmental areas such as social competence.  This research calls for use of intervention that addresses the functioning of the 'whole child'.

Dr Carol Flexer’s work provides more information about auditory brain development as related to language, literacy and use of technology.  She stresses that for such brain development to happen, hearing aids need to be worn by the child sufficiently, they need to be working properly and there needs to be enough meaningful language being delivered through them.

Other sections of this MESHGuide address what meaningful communication and language might look like.