Statistics & Research
- There are an estimated 20,000 children and adolescents in Australia, with some form of hearing impairment. 1
- There are almost 16,000 deaf and hearing impaired children under the age of 21 in Australia who are fitted with hearing aids. 2
- International research has shown that children who have problems making themselves understood are at high risk of social isolation and are 4 times more likely to have a mental health disorder. 3
- The risk of having a mental health issue is not associated with the degree of hearing impairment. Rather, it is the level of communication and social difficulty experienced, that affects mental health. 4
- Approximately 500 babies are born with a hearing loss in Australia each year. 5
- 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents. 6
- More than 83% of deaf children and adolescents attend mainstream schools where they are often the sole student in their class or school who is deaf. 7
- Deaf children are at a greater risk of developing mental health difficulties/ dysfunction than their hearing peers because of the isolation they experience. 8
- Employment opportunities for deaf and hearing impaired people are significantly less than for hearing applicants. 9
1 “Communication and behavioural disorders among children with hearing loss increases risk of mental health disorders” by A. Hogan, M. Shipley & L. Strazdins, A. Purcell & E. Baker, Australian & NZ Journal of Public Health, 2011 vol 25 No.4.
2 “Australian Hearing, Report on Demographics of Persons under the age of 21 years with Hearing Aids”, 2010.
3 “Correlates of mental health disorders among children with hearing impairments”, by J. Fellinger, D. Holzinger, H. Sattel, M. Laucht, and D. Goldberg in the online Journal of Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 6th January 2009.
4 “Communication and behavioural disorders among children with hearing loss increases risk of mental health disorders” by A. Hogan, M. Shipley & L. Strazdins, A. Purcell & E. Baker, Australian & NZ Journal of Public Health, 2011 vol 25 No.4.
5 Deaf Children Australia, Partners, Spring 2007, p3
6 Aussie Deaf Kids website: aussiedeafkids.org.au
7 “The Characteristics and Extent of Participation of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students in Regular Classes in Australian Schools” by Des Power and Merv Hyde in the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education., Fall 2002; 7: 302 – 311.
8 Deaf Children Australia, Partners, Spring 2007, p3
9 4th World Congress on Mental Health & Deafness
- Australian research shows that an estimated one in five children and adolescents is likely to suffer from a mental health problem before reaching adulthood. 1
- Evidence from international studies investigating the mental health of deaf children and adolescents indicate that the prevalence rate for mental health problems can be over 40% in this population with a higher incidence of emotional, behavioural and attentional problems when compared to hearing children and adolescents. 2
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2003
2 van Eldik, 2005; van Eldik, Treffers, Veerman & Verhulst, 2004; van Gent, Goedhart, Hindley & Treffers, 2007; Vostanis, Hayes, Du Feu & Warren, 1997