Social and educational adjustment of deaf children in relation to mental retardation

  • D. J. Wood


In a recent survey of the incidence and effects of hearing impairment in EEC countries, it was estimated that 0.9/1000 children born in 1969 suffered hearing impairment of 50 dB or more in their better ear (CEC, 1979). In functional terms, only 12% of these children were able to hear a normal, conversational voice at 3 metres, when wearing their hearing-aids. In 33% of children, hearing losses were 100 dB or more. Even when attending a discotheque in full swing such children would only hear the faintest murmur. Perceptive (sensori-neural) hearing loss accounted for 92.0% of the population. There is no medical treatment for such cases. Only 2.6% were reported as suffering from conductive deafness. Such deafness was attributable to congenital deformities of both ears or to chronic middle-ear disease. Although the incidence of deafness fluctuates from time to time, this estimate is close to the 1 per 1000 which is most often cited for (developed) countries. It should be noted that only children with bilateral losses in excess of 50 dB were surveyed. The incidence of less severe and monaural loss is not documented. Nor do we have any extensive data on the incidence and effects of acute conductive losses.


Hearing Loss Hearing Impairment Handicapped Child Deaf Child Impaired Child 
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© The Royal Society of Medicine 1984

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  • D. J. Wood

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