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Last Updated: Thursday February 25 2010 17:04 GMT

Not enough help for deaf children

Deaf children 'need more support'

There's not enough help for deaf children and their families in England, a new report says.

Researchers looked at 57 areas in England and found that almost half don't have the specially trained helpers that deaf kids need.

Newsround's Leah went to meet some deaf children to find out their thoughts.

One boy told her: "For deaf children it's difficult because they have to lip read all the time. Deaf and hearing people are in two worlds really."

The kids Leah met are some of the luckier ones because they go to a specialist school where they get lots of support.

One boy Lewis said: "I'm happy being deaf, because I've got communication and I've got lots of friends. Being deaf is great and I don't have a problem with it."

But Georgina said she knew some deaf children were unhappy. She said: "In other schools the hearing children might laugh at the deaf children and say - look at your signing, isn't it funny? And it makes deaf children feel intimidated and upset."

Awareness

The report was made for the National Deaf Children's Society, and they're worried about protecting deaf children now they've seen the findings.

The charity reckons there isn't enough awareness of the problems they face.

They said that whether deaf children use sign language or words, they do come across lots of difficulties that hearing people don't have to deal with.

Hearing dog

Brian Gale from the charity said: "This research shows a widespread lack of awareness among social care services of deaf children's needs."

Lots of the children Leah spoke to said that things like a hearing dog or a vibrating alarm clock would make a big difference and help make the lives of deaf children easier.