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February 1960

Psychiatric Study of Mentally Retarded Preschool Children: Report Four Years After Initiation of Project, with Emphasis on Psychiatric and Teaching Approach

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(2):156-170. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590080032006

This study of a group of mentally retarded preschool children was initiated with the aim of exploring psychogenic factors as a possible cause of retardation.

Description of Project  The project has been described elsewhere.1,2 Briefly the plan of study was as follows: Eight children, ranging in age from 4 years 8 months to 3 years 1 month, were selected for the project. All were functioning at a retarded level; all were without demonstrable organic basis for the retardation, and none was a clear-cut case of childhood psychosis. Since one child was withdrawn at the end of the first year and another was given his place, it was possible to obtain observations on a total of nine children. The screening process included pediatric, neurological, psychiatric, and psychological examinations.The children were given a program of nursery school five days a week. Five of them

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