Otology: Not So Deaf, Not So Dumb

If a baby is born too deaf to hear, he cannot imitate speech and therefore cannot learn to talk. At least one baby in every thousand is born with no apparent capacity for hearing; he is "deaf and dumb." But so-called congenital deaf-mutism is actually a misnomer because inborn defects of the vocal cords that make speech impossible are almost unknown. The real trouble is in the hearing mechanism. The vocal difficulty is almost inevitable because children judged to be beyond the help of any hearing aid are often sent to special...