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Volume 14 2, No. 3, 1997 The Status of the Preschool Deaf Child Malinda Katherine Miller1 Beidler School, Chicago, Illinois Kendall School speech training class, 1930s. Gallaudet University Archives. The problem of this study was to find out, as nearly as may be, from the state residential, public day, and denominational and private schools for the deaf in the United States and Canada just what is being done for the pre-school deaf child of to-day. Much has been thought, said, and written about the pre-school normal, or 1 Condensation of a study prepared under the direction of the School of Education of The George Washington University in part satisfaction of requirements for the degree of Master of Arts. The tabular data accompanying the original thesis have been omitted here as it was thought the summary of the various tabulations would prove sufficient for the purpose of this paper. hearing, child within the last decade, but very little apparently has been done for the deaf child of this age group, although we have been told again and again by psychologists, physicians , and other leading thinkers that it is the most important, as well as the most neglected, span in the child's life. This study was undertaken after a series of events dating back to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection called by President Hoover. In the section of the report dealing with Education and Training , under the Committee on Special Classes, Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur, chairman , with subhead, The Handicapped and the Gifted, we come to The Deaf and the Hard of Hearing2 and finally reach a paragraph leaded The Preschool Deaf Child3 which is here quoted in full: The value of preschool training for the hearing child seems now to be thoroughly established . A study of the preschool deaf and hard-of-hearing child is urgently needed, and the techniques now used for the study of 2 White House Conference on Child Health and Protection—"Special Education: The Handicapped and the Gifted," The Century Co., N.Y., 1931, pp. 275-346. 3 Ibid. p. 315. Reprinted from Miller, K. A. (1934). The status of the preschool deaf child. American Annals of the Deaf, 19(5), 414-421. Volume 142, No. 3, 1997 American Annals of the Deaf Status of the Preschool Deaf Child hearing children should be tried out with the deaf. We should learn a great deal about the intellectual abilities, the motor and sensory capacities, and the personality , character and emotional traits of the deaf and hard-ofhearing by a thorough psychological study of these children of preschool age. In this connection the establishment of a nursery school for deaf children, where research could be carried on, is urgently needed. Again we find:4 The Preschool Child. The program as outlined does not include the preschool child. Adequate means for the detection of hearing impairments in such young children are only now being investigated as has been previously stated, and must be further developed and perfected. However, all physicians engaged in child health examinations should be required to know how to make ear, nose and throat examinations periodically, in order to discover pathological conditions that may lead to hearing impairments. Periodic and repeated otological examinations should be encouraged . The importance of good sight to supplement poor hearing should be stressed. A program in aural hygiene for the education of laymen will help the situation. A further statement on Clinics reads as follows:5 Cities must be made to realize that the detection of deafness is not enough and that the children so found must have the use of available clinics if the parent or guardian cannot provide adequate care. It was in Rochester, New York, that the first deafness 4 Ibid. p. 319. 5 Ibid. p. 320. prevention clinic was established by Dr. F. W. Bock. A model research clinic, which others would do well to study and copy, is that operated by the New York League for the Hard of Hearing at the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital under the direction of Dr. Edmund Prince Fowler. The University of Pennsylvania also maintains a Deafness Prevention Clinic under the direction of...


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