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June 1974

Thirty Severely Disturbed Children: Evaluation of Their Language Development for Classification and Prognosis

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Child and Adolescent Services at the NYU-Bellevue Medical Center, New York. Dr. Chiarandini participated in this study as a thirdyear resident and Fellow in Child Psychiatry on research elective from the Harlem Hospital Center in New York and is currently in charge of Psychiatric Emergency Services at the St. Lukes Hospital in New York. Dr. Fish is currently at UCLA Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(6):819-825. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760120073011

Thirty psychotic children (mean age 4.5 years) with severe speech retardation and withdrawal from social relations were examined by a specific language scale we developed. This scale assesses developmental speech level (morphology) and communicativeness (function). Reliability and validity studies measured against more global clinical scales are presented.

The initial examination was compared to a short-term and long-term follow-up language examination. This molecular study of speech behavior shows that psychotic children may be subdivided with respect to retardation (using intelligibility norms) and then further divided into more and less communicative groups. These groupings have a relative stability after the second examination. Retrospective evaluation of factors that effect communicativeness suggests that this instrument can be used to make accurate prognoses at 3.6 years of age rather than at 5 years as formerly presented.

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