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Listening tactics

Listening tactics can be used for children with mild hearing loss, fluctuating hearing loss and for children who have listening difficulties.

Your child may experience difficulties with:

  • Following spoken instructions and conversation.
  • Following fast paced speech.
  • Detecting subtle speech differences or mishearing.
  • Paying attention and may be easily distracted.
  • Frustration.
  • Difficulties at school with progress and behaviour.
  • Hearing speech in background noise.
  • More difficulty interacting with others.
  • Road safety.

At school

Letting sound come to the ears more clearly can help. This can include:

  • Sitting at the front of the class. The closer your child is to the speaker, the better the signal.
  • Have a clear view of their teacher.
  • Ask their teacher to try to reduce background noise.
  • Ask their teacher to say your child’s name before they begin speaking to them and giving out instructions.
  • Encourage them to check if they have understood their teacher correctly. Maybe tell them to have a pen in their hand so they are ready to write things down, or say it back to their teacher so they know they have understood.

At home

  • Make sure the family face your child and that your child is looking at them so they are ready to listen to them.
  • Ask your child to repeat back what is said to them at home.
  • Work on increasing their confidence.
  • Reduce background noise such as TV when talking.
  • Re-phrase sentences instead of repeating them if they have not been understood.
  • Break down instructions into short pieces of information.

Road and personal safety

  • Before crossing a road, encourage your child to look around to check for traffic.
  • Encourage your child to look around for sounds when outside to make sure where a sound is coming from.

Top tips

Listening is a skill. Some people are better at it then others but it is something that can be improved.

Help develop coping strategies. Everyone struggles in noise but there are things that your child can do to make it easier such as asking for things to be repeated, and repeating back what is said.

Children with mild hearing losses and listening difficulties usually rely more on visual information. Help your child to ask for written information from school rather than relying on learning through listening.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: AUD15

Resource Type: Article

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