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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 3256-3263

Factors associated with deaf-mutism in children attending special schools of rural central India: A survey

Department of ENT, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, DMIMS, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shraddha Jain
Department of ENT, AVBRH, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, DMIMS, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha - 442 001, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_222_20

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Background: Effects of hearing loss on the development of a child's ability to learn, to communicate, and to socialize can be devastating. If no auditory rehabilitation is done by peri-lingual period, the child develops permanent speech problems. The cases included in this category will be those having hearing loss more than 90 dB in the better ear or total loss of hearing in both the ears. Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry (BERA)/Auditory Brainstem response (ABR) has been established as the most reliable screening tool for hearing assessment in neonates. Objectives: To perform a questionnaire-based survey of parents of children attending special schools for deaf–mutism, to find out the major medical, socio-demographic, and health service-related risk factors for deaf–- mutism. To perform screening for all these children in special schools for deaf and mute to get the major cause leading to their deaf–mutism in a given rural area in central India. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was done with deaf and mute students from special schools. A questionnaire was used to assess any complications in the antenatal, perinatal, and postnatal period. Thorough otorhinolaryngologic clinical examination was carried out with special attention to branchial arch anomalies and BERA was done to evaluate the deafness in individual and appropriate response is mentioned. Result: This study concluded neonatal septicemia, prematurity, low birth weight, consanguinity, and birth asphyxia as the most common risk factor for deafness in children. In this study, waiting for improvement on behalf of parents and misguidance by doctors posed the most common additional risk factor for mutism. Financial constraint and taking the matter of lack of hearing lightly were the most important reasons, which forced parents to opt for special schools and their inability to utilize the benefit of the cochlear implant.

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