Hearing Loss ChildrenHearing Loss & Children

Most Deaf children (approximately 90%) are born to hearing parents. As a result many parents of newly diagnosed Deaf children often have little or no knowledge of deafness at the time of diagnosis.

Many parents experience a range of emotions when they discover that their child has a hearing loss. Parents often report being shocked, confused and distressed at this time, and frequently report that they receive little or no support or information. From 2012, most children will be diagnosed within the first few months of life due to the introduction of new-born hearing screening. Although the early diagnosis will be of great benefit to the child into the future, it is likely that more parents will experience a sense of shock due to the early diagnosis. All parents should be offered an early appointment (within a couple of days) with a professional to discuss their concerns.

Parents should be informed that there are support services available, particularly the Visiting Teacher for the Deaf Service and DeafHear’s Family Support Service. Parents can also get more useful information at Parents Corner on

Among the questions parents often have are:

  • How will my child’s future be affected?
  • Will my child learn to speak?
  • Will my child benefit from hearing aids or a cochlear implant?
  • What communication choices are there?
  • What services are available?
  • Where will my child go to school?

It is natural for parents to have concerns, and it is important that parents are offered emotional support at this time. It is also important that parents are provided with comprehensive and unbiased information on their child’s needs, so they can make informed choices in the best interest of their child.

Every year DeafHear organises a Residential Weekend (usually in the spring) for parents of newly diagnosed Deaf children. This provides an opportunity for parents to access information, to meet other parents and receive peer support. For many parents this weekend has been invaluable in providing an understanding of deafness and its impact on children and family life, and has been the springboard for many friendships and peer supports.

If you are a parent of a Deaf child, please feel free to contact the Family Support Service at your local DeafHear Resource Centre at any time, or visit Parents Corner at


ParParents Corner is a section on DeafHear’s website dedicated to providing information and support to parents...


Further information:

For further information on assistive technology for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, contact your local Resource Centre.


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more...Over 2,300 Deaf and Hard of Hearing children attend mainstream and deaf schools in Ireland.


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