December 1975

Handbook on Learning Disabilities: A Prognosis for the Child, the Adolescent, the Adult

Author Affiliations

The Children's Hospital Medical Center 300 Longwood Ave Boston, MA 02115


edited by Robert E. Weber, 257 pp, $9.95, Prentice-Hall Inc, 1974.

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(12):1466. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120490074036

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This book is a series of articles written by different authors and organized chronologically, dealing first with childhood, then adolescence, and finally adulthood. This organization emphasizes what is inherently suggested in the title: that is, that learning disabilities have a "natural history" in medical parlance. They do not disappear after the patient leaves the pediatric age group, but evolve and have consequences, ie, a prognosis, in later life. A corollary to this notion is that if physicians are made aware of natural histories and prognostic factors, appropriate intervention early enough may prevent some of the possible dire consequences discussed in the book, such as juvenile delinquency (chapter 10) or other emotional and social problems of the child (chapter 5) and his family (chapter 6).

On the other hand, appropriate intervention may also pave the way for a good prognosis, even in adolescence, and college is not necessarily impossible for those

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