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Pediatr Infect Dis. 1982 Mar-Apr;1(2):104-9.

Language delay in infants associated with middle ear disease and mild, fluctuating hearing impairment.


We report on a study of the relationship between early persistent middle ear disease and early language learning for 35 infants. Three independent measurements were used to evaluate hearing sensitivity and the status of the middle ear. Language development was assessed using two standardized measurements for both comprehension and expression. The otitis-prone group had a 71.5% incidence of language delay with 42.9% delayed greater than 6 months. For the normal group 21.4% had language delay, with one child having delay greater than 6 months. The feasibility of including language screening for at-risk infants is discussed.

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