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August 1961

Interaction in Nonverbal Psychotic Children: II. Measuring by a Differential Diagnostic Instrument

Author Affiliations

Dr. Steisel is now at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and the Department of Psychiatry, Temple University School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(2):141-145. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710140033005

Problem  Although the criteria utilized by various authors to make the diagnosis of childhood psychosis vary, there appears to be a consensus that such children display defective ability to interact with others.1,2 On the one hand there is the "extreme self-isolation"3 that has been ascribed to autistic children, while the "symbiotic" child4 has been pictured as behaving in a sticky, clinging, mutually interdependent relationship with others. Although there is some disagreement among various authors in regard to terminology and precise descriptions of syndromes, it is generally agreed that these children are incapable of the ordinary interplay of give-and-take characteristic of nonpsychotic children. The inability to make consistent object relationships is considered, by some, to be the hallmark of the disorder.Children with organic pathology and/or mental deficiency often display behavior which is quite similar to that of the psychotic

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