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Deafness is the hidden handicap or unseen disability. Its effects are many and of varying degrees of severity include delay in the development of speech and language, education, social and vocational guidance. The most common problem that brings deaf child to the doctor is slow speech development which sometimes is not suitable time for diagnosis. For the effectiveness of management and havilitation depends on the age at which the management is commenced. Of 221 slow speech development children who came to Srinagarind Hospital during April 1980-1986, 64.25% were Congenital sensorineural hearing loss. Most of them were deafness (hearing loss > 90 dB ISO 1964) Cerebral palsy and Aphasia), 3.62% were Mental Retardation, 7.69% were Multiple Disorders and only 14.93% were the group of normal hearing with inadequate environment.
The deaf chid is like any other child except that he has tremendous provlems in communication, education and socio-economic achievement, Diagnosis should never be deferred on the grounds that a child is too young for adequate assessment. With the use of the risk principles and the reason for suspecting early childhood deafness, the early diagnosis should be done before the age of 2. It can be achieved if those in contacut with children make purposeful attempts to detect the problem so that the proper help and the appropriate advice can be given to the child and parents.
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