WHEN members of the family suspect that a baby is deaf or hard of hearing, they are of course alarmed. They want a diagnosis as early as possible, and this is one of the reasons why it is desirable to examine the child with defective hearing as early in its life as possible.
However, there are also other reasons why it is expedient to recognize the presence and to determine the seriousness of a hearing defect early. Normal development of speech depends on whether enough acoustic stimuli reach the acoustic centers and the Wernicke center to train them. Only when these centers are charged often enough (literally innumerable times) with those stimuli, will the motor speech centers be stimulated in turn by them. The latter stimulation is synonymous with the impetus necessary for the development of spontaneous speech.
If an examination of the hearing discloses that the distance at which