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Article
July 1961

Schizophrenia in Children: The Frequency and Quality of Certain Motor Acts in Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

LOS ANGELES
Medical Director, St. John's Hospital, Xavier Clinic, Santa Monica, and Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center (Dr. Colbert); Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center (Dr. Palmer).

Am J Dis Child. 1961;102(1):25-27. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.02080010027005
Abstract

Certain exaggerated motor behavior patterns, particularly "toe walking," "rocking," "spontaneous whirling," and "clinging," or "herding," have been reported by several observers as symptomatic of schizophrenia in children. However, rhythmical behavior such as jouncing, rocking, and even spontaneous whirling may almost be considered as characteristic of the infant and the preschool child, and, at least momentarily, children of this age group may walk on their toes or have occasional outbursts of "clinging" to adults.5 Although such motor activities probably become less frequent as the child develops more organized and specific play activities, at least somewhat similar motor behavior might be thought to occur sporadically in the play of normal school age children. Nevertheless, since such behavior may also be a forewarning of schizophrenia, it cannot be summarily dismissed as normal activity, especially among schoolage children. Since it is to the pediatrician that many parents initially report the occurrence of such

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