Children’s Radio Aids for Education

Children’s Radio Aids and School for Deaf Children

When starting to think about your young deaf child’s education, it’s important to fully understand the technology options that are available to help your child to be able to hear as much as possible, to access not only important and educational information from teachers and staff, but also to be able to be able to socialise appropriately and effectively with friends. Children’s Radio aids or induction loops can help in noisy school environments, where there are echoey school halls, hard floors with bumping chairs, high levels of background noise and where there is a distance between a speaker (teacher) and your child. Here’s the scoop on how radio aids work and how they might help with childhood deafness in education.

Children's Radio AidsAbout Children’s Radio Aids

Radio aids for children work whereby the teacher will wear a transmitter (a microphone) and a receiver will be worn by your child. The receiver should fit nicely onto the base of your child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant. The teachers speech will be carried via radio waves directly to the child’s hearing device, rather than being picked up across the room via the microphone fitted to the device, hence making her sound a lot clearer. Using a children’s radio aids option on your hearing impaired child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant will not mean that other sounds are turned down, which could otherwise potentially be detrimental to developing social skills or inclusion.

Who Can Wear Them

Children’s Radio Aid Devices…

Radio aids are compatible with children’s cochlear implants, hearing aids and bone anchored hearing aids (BAHAs). A small receiver will simply be fitted to the bottom of your child’s device. Be aware, for some councils, wireless receivers may not be an option, and a wired pack may need to be fitted to your child’s clothing if your council issues the aid, rather than you choosing to purchase privately. Radio aids can also be worn by children with a mild or moderate loss, or temporary hearing loss who do not wear hearing aids but struggle in noisy school environments.

Children’s Radio Aid Ages…

Radio aids can be worn by any child at school age and above. For nurseries and pre-schools, there is a possibility to try out radio aids but an important function of a radio aid is that the child is able to turn off the radio aid when not in use, so an understanding and ability to decide and change settings as necessary is required. The ability to assess which setting a hearing aid or cochlear implant should be set to obviously will differ from child to child, but prior to school age, standard hearing devices tend to not have setting options so you will need to speak to your child’s audiologist prior to fitting a radio aid to have these options added.

How Children’s Radio Aids Can Help…

Children’s radio aids can be invaluable in helping with concentration fatigue in deaf children, as the teacher can be heard much louder than classroom background noise so they don’t need to concentrate so intensely in order to hear. In schools, radio aids don’t only need to be worn by a teacher. For example, during a school play, the transmitter could be placed on the stage, or during group work, in the centre of the classroom table where your child’s group is working.

If you live in the UK and are interested in trying out radio aids or an induction loop for your deaf child, you can find information on free on loan try outs for children’s hearing technology on NDCS Test Drive…