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September 1965

Language Disability: Survey of an Elementary School for Dependent Children of Military Personnel

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, USAF Hospital Andrews and the Malcolm Grow USAF Clinical Center, Andrews Air Force Base.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(3):258-264. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030272006

SCHOLASTIC failure is a common problem in every school and in all grades. Its etiologies are many, including: family attitudes, intelligence, motivation, physical defects, and emotional disorders. One of the common and least recognized causes of scholastic failure is language disability.1,2

Language disability has been called word blindness, dyslexia, strephosymbolia, congenital alexia, and dysgraphia. When it is present, it can cause emotional maladjustment and underachievement or failure, and is a chronic handicap to the pupil. It has been said that as many as 10% to 15% of students have this handicap; and because of the anxieties and pressures caused by it in both the child and his family, it is imperative that physicians and teachers be well-informed about this condition.3,4,5

Language involves all of the aspects of handling words: reading, writing, spelling, and speech. The range of ability runs from the child who reads at the age of

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