Multi Sensory Impairment

Children who have a multi sensory impairment (MSI) have both a vision and hearing loss. Their sensory loss may be present at birth or acquired later. Some of these children also have medical, physical and cognitive disabilities. MSI impacts on all areas of learning and children may need additional support to learn to communicate and develop socially. Through working closely with the child or young person and family, the service can provide families and schools with information and strategies for development for example on functional use of vision and or hearing, development of communication, mobility, tactile skills and environmental adaptations.

In the early years and depending on level of need the following may be provided:

  1. Information to parents/carers:
  • professionals and roles and other services available
  • understanding your child’s type and degree of hearing loss and the implications
  • communication options – spoken language, BSL, total communication
  • hearing aids / cochlear implants, radio systems
  • supporting informed choice
  • signposting to other agencies / voluntary sector etc.
  • educational provision available
  • opportunities to meet other parents
  • joint visits for hearing aids fitting and cochlear implant switch on

2. Supporting parents/carers in promoting development of their child – individualised programmes and area of work:

  • early parent/carer & child interaction skills
  • early communication skills
  • developing listening skills
  • developing language skills and linking language to the world
  • developing tactile skills
  • Develop physical skills (fine & gross)
  • guiding your child’s hands
  • play skills – learning through play
  • story telling
  • using low vision aids
  • early technology
  • develop early literacy through touch – Braille, Moon
  • develop early independence skills and mobility
  • monitor progress observed, monitoring protocol

You and your child or young person may be supported by an MSI teacher, a QTVI (Qualified Teacher for children with Vision Impairment) and a ToD (Teacher of Deaf) . They will aim to work closely with other professionals and therapists as part of a multi agency team. Children and young people with MSI attend a variety of early years settings and mainstream and specialist provisions. A major part of our work is to provide training to schools and early years settings.