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Phone Number: 01603 704040
Fax Number: 01603 704047
Minicom Number: 01603 704044
Email: sensorysupport@norfolk.gov.uk

Identifying Deafness - Early Years

Checklist for identifying deafness – Early Years


Children may arrive in your setting without having been identified as having a hearing loss or acquire a permanent hearing loss during the early years. It is therefore important for school staff to look out for any of the possible signs of deafness.


The following may indicate a potential hearing loss:

  • Does not come when called.
  • Watches faces/lips intently.
  • Constantly says "What?"
  • Does not follow simple instructions or follows instructions incorrectly.
  • Watches what others are doing before doing it themselves.
  • Appears to watch and follow peers rather than hearing instructions directly.
  • Talks either too loudly or too softly.
  • Appears inattentive or as though daydreaming.
  • Makes little or no contribution to group discussions, e.g. during story time.
  • Rubs ears or complains about not being able to hear.
  • Tires easily.
  • Becomes frustrated easily.
  • Seems socially isolated and less involved in play with other children.


Children with temporary hearing loss may demonstrate these behaviours intermittently.

If any member of staff is concerned that a child may have an undiagnosed hearing loss the early years setting should discuss the matter with parents and suggest that their child is taken to the GP.