Question #3

How prevalent is AD(H)D in children with hearing loss?



         Kelly, D., Forney, J., Parker-Fisher, S., & Jones, M. (1993). The challenge of attention deficit disorder in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. American Annals of the Deaf, 138 (4), 343-348.

         Loechler, K. (1999). Frequently asked questions about ADHD and the answers from the internet. The Council For Exceptional Children: Teaching Exceptional Children, 31, (6), 28-31.

         Schnittjer, C. & Hirshoren, A. (1981). The prevalence of behavior problems in deaf children. Psychology in the Schools, 18 (1), 67-72.

Synthesis of information

In the journal article written by Schnittjer and Hirshoren (1981), they state that the prevalence of behavior problems in hearing impaired children appear to be no different than that of hearing children.  According to the  U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services approximately "three to five percent of school age children" (Loechler, 1999, p. 29) may have educational difficulties related to AD(H)D.  At least one child out of 25 would be diagnosed with the disorder.  Although not much research has been conducted on the prevalence of AD(H)D in children with hearing loss, Kelly, Forney, Parker-Fisher and Jones (1993) conducted research and their findings were consistent with earlier information stating that "the prevalence appears to be similar to that reported in hearing children" (p. 343).  It was also concluded that children with acquired hearing loss, such as bacterial meningitis, cytomegalovirus or hearing loss caused by prematurity seemed to be at greater risk for AD(H)D.  "The damage to the nervous system [from these conditions] may extend beyond loss of hearing to other subtle degrees of cerebral dysfunction" (Kelly, et al. 1993, p.348).


It was very difficult to answer this question due to the lack of information available.  I found it interesting that the research states that the prevalence of AD(H)D in deaf children appears to be no different than that of hearing children.  That would mean that only one out of every 25 deaf children would be diagnosed with the disorder.  In my experience of working with deaf and hearing impaired children the prevalence seems much higher.


         (1999). Attention deficits in children and adolescents with hearing loss. A survey. [Online]. Available:

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