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March 1965

Mental Retardation In Early Childhood: A Longitudinal Study of 143 Infants

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Southern California School of Medicine and Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(3):243-251. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020245009

THE CARE of mentally retarded children poses a major problem to the outpatient services of most pediatric facilities. Traditionally, such care was provided by the physician. It is only recently that multidisciplinary clinics have developed,1 largely due to the availability of federal funds and recognition that the retarded child requires the services of other disciplines for an adequate evaluation. In order to study the pediatric needs of young mentally retarded children, a project2 was initiated in 1954 and continued to the present by following a sample of 143 infants thought to be mentally retarded. The purpose was to evaluate the need for pediatric care, to find those diseases in which mental retardation might be prevented or ameliorated, and to assess the benefit of correction of associated physical handicaps.

Procedure  The age limit for study was arbitrarily set at 1 year because of the longitudinal aspects of the project.

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