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June 1944


Author Affiliations


From the Speech Clinic, Children's Department, of the Mount Sinai Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1944;51(6):544-549. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1944.02290300046005

PRELIMINARY DEFINITION  Although the concept of "psychic deafness in children" was introduced into medicine by S. Heller (Vienna) more than half a century ago, Ewing1 was right in complaining that almost no consideration had been given it in the literature.2 It may therefore be well to discuss first the meaning of the term. "Psychic deafness in children" seems to indicate that there are youngsters in whom a trait, and only that trait, is responsible for their lack of any response to acoustic stimuli. In other words, the deafness of such children is not due to a pathologic condition of any part of the hearing organs—that is, in the external auditory meatus, the middle ear, the acoustic nerve or the acoustic center. The neurologist as well as the otologist, might be reminded by this definition of "hysterical deafness" as it appears in persons who suddenly lose their previously normal

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