January 5, 1918


Author Affiliations

1 Mount Morris Park, West, New York.

JAMA. 1918;70(1):49. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600010047022

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To the Editor:  —A usable amount of sound perception in deaf mutes is of more frequent occurrence than is generally recognized. This is because neither physician nor layman clearly understands how slight a degree of hearing can be utilized for educational purposes. A child that cannot hear speech at short conversational distances will not spontaneously learn to speak, and is classed by the medical profession as a "deaf-mute." Many children, properly so classed by physicians, have, nevertheless, a sufficient power of perceiving sound to profit by special instruction adapted to train the brain to associate ideas with the imperfect sounds that can be perceived. This is possible because, by the laws of sound, the intensity with which the ear is affected varies inversely as the square of the distance, and a child who cannot hear a word spoken at a distance of a yard may be able to hear it

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