4. Social, emotional, physical, and mental health

Developing a positive sense of self and connecting to and being part of a wider community is key for Deaf Children and Young People (DCYP) and their families. Providing opportunities for DCYP and their families to come together can support them to gain valuable support networks, both emotional and practical, and to meet others like them, reducing feelings of isolation or difference. Social activities also provide opportunities for deaf children to understand their own feelings and behaviour as well as those of others. Social communication skills such as pragmatic language skills and theory of mind (ToM) can be supported and developed. Understanding the language of the playground, slang, accessing vocal tone, and body language, are all important factors that can lead to greater social inclusion.

Deaf children and young people are more likely to experience mental health difficulties. (NDCS 2022 Emotional Well-being Survey of Deaf Children and Young People) Self-advocate, have positive self-esteem, and be able to self-determine are all essential skills for good mental health.

In terms of physical health, good health is also an important factor in deaf children experiencing positive well-being. There are features individual to a deaf person, for example, ensuring good ear mould hygiene to reduce any risk of infection. These aspects require specialist teaching and input, which is not part of the curriculum in mainstream education settings. The role of the specialist Qualified Teacher of Deaf Children and Young People (QToD) comes to the fore.

The increase in use of technology and social media presents both opportunities and challenges for DCYP and their families. DCYP are more likely to seek contact and friendships with others online. They are also more likely to be the victims of bullying. There is now a greater need for explicit teaching in this area.

Please refer to sections 1 and 5 on Deaf identity and Manage change.


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Please note: Some of this information has been archived and as such may be out of date or no longer relevant.

Resource | 15.06.2023

4a. Social health

Resource | 15.06.2023

4b. Emotional and mental health

Resource | 15.06.2023

4c. Physical health

Resource | 15.06.2023

4d. Technology and staying safe