May 1972

Non-Communicating Children

Author Affiliations

Yellow Springs, Ohio


By Louis Minski, MD, FRCP, DPM, Margaret J Shepperd, MRCS, LRCP, DPM. Price, $7.95. Pp 188. Appleton-Century-Crofts, Educational Division, Meredith Corporation, 440 Park Ave, S, New York 10016, 1971.

Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(5):520. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110110148024

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The reader interested in problems of children's communication will be greatly misled by the title of this little volume. Communication is not the major focus of the book. Indeed, it is difficult to determine just what it is that the authors considered "non-communication." No definition of the term is provided, they describe no objective measure of communication skill, and they include in the group some children who are able to make their needs known by mime and gestures and some who are described as having quite adequate speech.

The focus of the book is, instead, upon the 417 children investigated in the children's units of Belmont Hospital (Sutton, Surrey, England) between 1953 and 1967. This patient sample is composed of children who had major, and often multiple, handicaps. The book is primarily a description of the efforts of the staff at Belmont to obtain assessments of their cognitive and sensory

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