Saliva Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay for Cytomegalovirus Screening in Newborns

New research has shown that an analysis of a newborn’s saliva is effective in screening for Cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is a leading cause of hearing loss in children and the most common infection passed from a mother to an unborn child.  A sample of nearly 35,000 infants from seven different hospitals in the
U.S. was used for analysis in this project.  Saliva samples were taken
from infants who were typically one day old.  Researchers were able to correctly identify every baby born with the infection when liquid samples were used and 97.4% of babies when samples were dried.  CMV affects 20,000 to 30,000 infants each year who have contracted the virus while in utero.  10-15 percent of infected infants are at risk of developing hearing loss. 


Clarke Schools reflect changes in deaf education

Massachusetts school for those with hearing loss evolves.

Ongoing changes at Clarke Schools for Hearing & Speech in Massachusetts –founded in 1867 — reflect the evolution of education for those who cannot hear.  The use of cochlear implants and earlier identification of hearing difficulties have led to lower enrollment and downsizing of the school’s campus and many teachers now primarily working with students in traditional schools.  “We thought if we could give our kids the opportunity to connect freely with the 99.98 percent of the population that uses spoken language, then it was something we wanted to do,” school President William J. Corwin said.


Some parents angered by Daniels' picks for School for the Deaf board members

What is the best approach for teaching students who cannot hear?

The appointment of three new board members at the Indiana School for the Deaf has ignited a debate over the best methods for educating students who cannot hear or who have hearing impairments.  The board members, appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels, favor an approach in which students are taught to speak, listen, and read lips.  However, many parents at the school favor a focus on American Sign Language, which has been used as the primary method of instruction at the school for decades.  Is there a solution to these problems?