London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Hillingdon 1971

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hillingdon]

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(A) Blind Children
In residential schools 4
Pre-school children ascertained in 1971 Nil
One boy was ascertained as blind in 1970.
Two Residential Schools are used for the education of the four blind children in the Borough.
Linden Lodge School, S.W.19 is administered by the Inner London Education Authority and has
admitted three children, two boys and a girl. The remaining boy is accommodated at the Royal
London Society for the Blind School, Sevenoaks (Dorton House). These schools give a general
education up to C.S.E. and G.C.E. standard.
The number of blind children remains very small. The major causes of blindness in children
in past years has been infections of various kinds together with the usual hereditary and congenital
conditions; but today hereditary congenital and developmental factors predominate. The incidence
of blindness in children is also falling. In 1925 it was 37 per hundred thousand, in 1950, 21 -1 per
hundred thousand and in 1968, 18 1 per hundred thousand.
(B) Partially Sighted
In residential special schools 2
In day special schools 7
In normal schools 3
Two girls were ascertained as Partially Sighted in 1971.
The seven children in day special schools are educated at John Aird School for Partially
Sighted Pupils at Hammersmith, one of the I.L.E.A. Special Schools. Three children are able to be
educated at normal schools and where this leads to no further deterioration in sight it is to be
encouraged. This, however, is not for every child and the placement depends as much upon the
cause as upon the degree of sight loss. Cataracts appear to be the main cause of partial sightedness
followed closely by myopia.
(C) Deaf
In residential special schools 4
In day special schools 9
One boy was ascertained as deaf in 1971.
Heston Hearing Unit at Vicarage Farm Road, Hounslow, is the referral point for most deaf
children in this Borough. The children are examined at this Unit and if necessary are admitted to
the day school for the Deaf attached to the Unit. The 4 children who attend Residential Schools
go to Woodford School for Deaf Children, E.18, the Royal School tor Deaf Children, Margate,
or Mary Hare Grammar School for the Deaf, Newbury.
(D) Partially Hearing
In day special schools 5 In day special classes 16
In day nurseries 2 Attending normal schools 18
5 children were ascertained as Partially Hearing in 1971—2 boys and 3 girls.
Most of these children are examined at Heston Hearing Clinic after a preliminary investigation
in the School Clinic or Child Health Centre. The recommendation regarding education is made
by the Otologist in consultation with the Principal School Medical Officer, the parents, the schools
and Educational Psychologists. Many are able to be taught in normal schools with certain precautions
being observed concerning their hearing, e.g. use of hearing aids, position in class, etc.,
and with the helpful interest and co-operation of the teachers this type of education is undoubtedly
the most advantageous for the child since he is in a "hearing" environment; he is surrounded by
meaningful sounds most of his working day.
A peripatetic teacher of the deaf visits the schools regularly to discuss progress with the
teachers and also keeps contact with the homes. Special classes or schools are necessary for a
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