With summer nearing its end, children will soon be heading back to the classroom. Here are some ideas and tips from Specialist Speech and Language Therapist Natalie Clark on how you can prepare your child for the upcoming school year: 


  • Ensure your child’s technology is in clean, working condition
    Why not show your child how they can look after their hearing aids or cochlear implants, how to clean them and change the batteries.
  • Reporting problems
    When you notice your child’s device is not working – talk to them about it, practise what they could tell or ask an adult in those situations (E.g. “My hearing aid is not working.”, “I need a new battery.”)
  • Pack spare batteries/cables into your child’s bag
    Send a small pack of spares with your child, talk through how to change batteries/cables with the class teacher or TA beforehand so they know what to look out for and how to replace them.
  • Trouble-shooting information to school
    Many of the device manufacturers have information about troubleshooting the technology – provide these to school and talk them through with school staff.
  • Words for sounds
    Use descriptive words for sounds that your child encounters (E.g. crackling, buzzing), providing the vocabulary for these types of sounds may help your child be specific in their reporting of any problems with their equipment.


Some manufacturer troubleshooting guides can be found below:

Med-el Troubleshooting

Cochlear Troubleshooting your device

Advanced Bionics Troubleshooting guide

Phonak Troubleshooting infographic

Starting the conversation

  • Make an experience book
    Make a story/ book with your child about starting school, who their class teacher is, who their friends are, what things they like to play or do at school and what things are hard or difficult. Draw pictures and stick in photos to use language within the process.
  • Make a plan
    Talk to your child about what the plan will be for the first day of school. You could write a list of what they will need to pack in their bag on the first day to practise literacy and planning skills.
  • Help your child to know what to expect
    Look at photos on the school website
    to familiarise your child with what things might look like.



  • Talk about your child’s deafness
    Talk about what makes your child special, practise what your child could say to their peers about their hearing aids/devices and how they can tell others what helps them. (E.g. "I wear hearing aids, it helps me when you look at me when you are talking."
  • Talk to the teacher
    Suggest ways that the teacher can check your child’s understanding (E.g. asking the child to repeat back instructions, asking the child to tell a peer what to do) as well as supporting the child’s listening environment (E.g. position the child at the front of the class, use a FM system)
  • Strategies
    Discuss situations that may be difficult in the classroom (E.g. too much noise, missing information), talk through ideas that your child can do to overcome these (E.g. Asking their teacher to say the instructions again)

Potential Challenges

Potential ideas or strategies

Noisy classroom

  • Ask the teacher to use the FM system
  •  Ask to sit at the front, near the teacher
  • Explain to the teacher what you are having difficulty with

Missed instructions from the teacher

  • Ask a friend to repeat the instruction
  • Ask the teacher to repeat the instruction
  • Ask for clarification to ensure you know the full instruction

Missed conversation in the playground

  • Ask your friends to face you when they are talking
  •  Ask your friends to repeat what they said
  • Talk to your friends about what things help you to understand and listen.


If you have a child who is starting school for the first time, read books about starting school together
Here are some book suggestions:

The Book People Top 10 books for children starting school

The School Run Best books about starting school

Oxford Owl Books about starting school

For a printable copy of these tip click here.