Support is available to families with a baby or a young child who is diagnosed with a hearing loss. This includes referral to services and learning programs.
On this page: Diagnosed hearing impairment
Early Intervention Service
Diagnosed hearing impairment
All babies born in SA are screened
for a hearing impairment. Older children are usually referred for clinical assessment when their doctor or health service suspects they have a hearing impairment. If the assessment confirms hearing impairment the family will be referred to a psychologist experienced in the education of children with a hearing loss. The psychologist will:
- talk to the family about the impact of the child's hearing loss
- link the family to services and organisations that will help the child develop the communication skills they need to be successful at play and at kindergarten.
For more information phone 8226 9925 or email the education department's special helpline.
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Education support services
The Early Intervention Service has a team of qualified teachers of the deaf and speech pathologists who provide individual support in the home or early childhood settings. The level of help depends on the degree of hearing loss, other disabilities and the involvement of other services.
Families actively participate in the program which includes:
- teaching and learning programs
- home visits
Teaching and learning programs
Lessons can be held either at home or at a kindergarten depending on the family's requirements. They include:
- learning through speaking and listening techniques
- use of sign language if appropriate.
A teaching service may be offered in the family home:
- children learn best when they feel comfortable in their home environment
- this is where most speech and language learning takes place
- normal household routines can be maintained.
Resources and aids are loaned to families between visits.
Primary schools catering for hearing impaired students may provide a playgroup for children as part of their early intervention program. The playgroups provide opportunities for parents to meet other families of deaf and hearing impaired children. Talk to the school to find out if they offer a playgroup.
For more information about education support services or for a referral phone the program's psychologist on 8235 2871.
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On this site
Disabilities and special needs
Hearing impaired – school children
Access equipment and physical aids
Negotiated education plans for children with special needs
Speech and language impairments
Deaf Children Australia
Speech Pathology Australia