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January 1965

Comparative Evaluations of Suspected Retardates

Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(1):58-65. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020060006

Introduction  AMONG THE difficulties, and assets, of multidisciplinary clinical evaluations is the differential perceptions of judges. This study considers these difficulties and assets by examining multiprofessional judgments of the developmental level of a unique group of children. In addition, these judgments are compared to the assessments of nonprofessionals who are assumedly emotionally tied to the situation, viz, the parents of these children.The study was conceived during an examination of the medical records of a mental retardation evaluation unit. This examination revealed that judgments of functional or developmental level were frequently listed in pediatric, psychological, and speech-language reports. Staff members making such judgments were part of an evaluation team which provided an outpatient examination on cases referred (mostly by physicians and medical facilities) because of suspected retardation. Examinations were designed to establish diagnosis, to determine etiology and prognosis whenever possible, and to make recommendations.Professional personnel whose judgments are included