Table 1 Characteristics of hearing-impaired and normally hearing children
Hearing-impaired UNSNormally hearing
UNSNo UNS
n = 61 (%)n = 59 (%)n = 63 (%)
Mean (range) of age at assessment7.5 (5.5–10.0)8.3 (5.4–11.7)8.1 (6.2–9.8)
Female26 (43)27 (46)26 (41)
Degree of hearing loss
    Moderate35 (57)30 (51)na
    Severe16 (26)13 (22)na
    Profound10 (16)16 (27)na
Other disabilities
    Cerebral palsy2 (3)3 (5)0
    Visual disability5 (8)8 (14)0
    Learning disability3 (5)5 (8)0
    Of chromosomal/syndromic origin13 (21)10 (17)1 (2)
    Other16 (26)18 (31)
    None41 (67)36 (61)62 (98)
Mode of communication
    Oral ± sign language50 (82)47 (79)na
    Sign language only6 (10)10 (17)na
    Non-verbal5 (8)2 (3)na
Non-verbal ability‡
    Above average18 (30)20 (34)28 (44)
    Average8 (13)13 (22)17 (27)
    Below average29 (48)20 (34)18 (29)
Mother’s education*
    No qualifications or <5 O levels†27 (44)16 (27)25 (40)
    ⩾5 O levels or some A levels†30 (49)32 (54)25 (40)
    University degree and above4 (7)10 (17)13 (21)
Occupation of head of household*
    Never worked/unemployed10 (16)8 (14)2 (3)
    Lower occupations10 (16)8 (14)14 (22)
    Intermediate occupations20 (33)16 (27)12 (19)
    Higher occupations23 (38)26 (44)35 (56)
English first language at home
    Yes54 (88)45 (76)60 (95)
  • *Classified as per 2001 UK census; one missing value.

  • †O levels (now replaced by general certificates of education) are usually taken at age 16 years; A levels (now replaced by “A2s”) are taken 2 years later as qualifications for entry to higher education.

  • ‡Ravens Coloured Progressive Matrices percentile scores for age; 12 missing values comprised of eight and four from children with early- and late-confirmed permanent childhood hearing impairments, respectively.

  • na, not applicable.

  • UNS, universal newborn screening.