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Hearing Impairment (Children and Young People)

 Key findings Report (February 2016)

  • Hearing impairment in children is a low incidence high impact disability

  • There are currently 358 Children and Young People known to the Wirral Sensory Service for having a Hearing Impairment, giving a prevalence of 4.8 per 1000 (Wirral Sensory Service database January 2016).

  • Nationally there has been a 16% increase since 2011 in the numbers of deaf children known to local authority specialist educational services (CRIDE, 2014a). This increase in numbers has also been seen by the Wirral Sensory Service, with a 16% increase since 2013 (Wirral Sensory Service database January 2016)

  • An estimated 31 in every 100,000 (0.031%) children and young people up to the age of 19 in the UK have co-occurring vision and hearing impairments. In Wirral this figure is currently 0.036% (Wirral Sensory Service database January 2016).

  • Nationally, a reported 21% of deaf children have additional special educational needs (CRIDE, 2013).

  • Significant hearing impairment can have an impact on language development and communication difficulties can provide a risk for behavioural problems, emotional and psychological difficulties, poorer employment prospects and mental health issues (Blamey & Sarant, 2011; Lederberg cited in Prezbindowski, et al., 1998; Bercow, 2008; Mayer, 2007).

  • Chronic otitis media (inflammatory diseases of the middle ear) is the leading cause of hearing loss amongst children. In Wirral, currently 24% of children and young people have hearing impairments due to middle ears issue (Wirral Sensory Service database January 2016).

  • Recent research (Archbold et al., 2015) into mild/moderate hearing loss in children, shows this has a bigger impact on family and education than generally recognised by others.

  • Over 40% of deaf children (NDCS, 2010) experience mental health problems, compared to over 25% of hearing children. There are currently 6 young people from the Wirral being seen by this local Deaf CAMHS (Wirral Sensory Service database January 2016).

  • In England, around 9% of deaf children use sign language in some form, either on its own or alongside another language (CRIDE, 2013). In Wirral this figure is 8.3% (Wirral Sensory Service database January 2016).

  • In November 2014, Wirral Sensory Service was rated as good with some outstanding features through a peer review linked to the Quality Standards developed for SEN support and Outreach Services.

  • Wirral Health and Education services for children and young people who are deaf already work closely together to provide joined up services.

  • Wirral Sensory Service has a low number of out of borough placement

  • The new All-age Disability Partnership provides new opportunities for children and young people  with hearing impairment though related national, and consequential local, austerity measures should be monitored for any potential service impact

Hearing Impairment (Children and Young People) (February 2016)