Progressive Hearing Loss in School Aged Children

What to do if you suspect your student or child's hearing aids are not enough.


Managing a child's progressive hearing loss can be a tough task, and we understand that you need the information and resources to make the best decisions for a child you support today to positively impact their future success.

Signs of progressive hearing loss in the classroom:

May struggle with transitions in the classroom

  • May struggle with spelling and vocabulary, such as plurals and possessives
  • May have trouble with reading and may not be meeting academic milestones
  • May come home from school overly exhausted and needing above average amounts of sleep
  • May have a hard time paying attention in class due to fatigue while struggling to hear and understand
  • Child may express feelings of social isolation at school
  • Other children may express that the child is ignoring them

Signs of progressive hearing loss in school-aged children at home:

  • Does not follow or understand simple commands
  • Is easily frustrated or has communication breakdowns
  • Is falling behind with speech and communication skills
  • Cannot identify where sound is coming from
  • Depends heavily on lip-reading
  • Is exhausted from constant concentration just to understand speech

Resource Videos

Watch the videos below to discover different signs of progressive hearing loss in the classroom and to learn the signs that your student or child’s hearing aids are not enough.

If there is concern that a student’s hearing aids are not enough, the next step is to see their audiologist for an evaluation.

When to consider cochlear implants as part of the hearing loss continuum

Is it time to look into new solutions for your student’s or child’s hearing loss?

  • Cochlear implants are designed to help a child develop speech, and research shows those implanted early in life have speech performance scores closest to scores of normal hearing children.1,2
  • While many early intervention factors contribute to a child succeeding with a cochlear implant, research and over two decades of experiences demonstrate cochlear implants provide improved speech and language development, quality of life and educational outcomes for children with hearing loss.3


  1. Hammes DM, Novak MA, Rotz LA, et al. Early identification and the cochlear implant: Critical factors for spoken language development. Ann Otol Rhino Laryngol 2002;111:74-78.
  2. Tharpe AM, Gustafson S. Management of Children with Mild, Moderate, and Moderately Severe Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Otolaryngol Clin North Am 2015 Sep 30.
  3. Novak MA, Firszt JB, Rotz LA, et al. Cochlear implants in infants and toddlers. Ann Otol Rhino Laryngol Suppl 2000;185:46-49.