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Kennedy, H. (1981). Study Group on Developmental Disturbances. Bul. Anna Freud Centre, 4(4):295.

(1981). Bulletin of the Anna Freud Centre, 4(4):295

Study Group on Developmental Disturbances

Hansi Kennedy

This group started work in May 1981 with the overall aim of clarifying the concept of ‘developmental disturbances’ currently in use at the Clinic. At present the concept appears to cover a wide range of disorders from transitory developmental hold-ups in under-fives to severe personality distortions in older children resulting from early depriviations and developmental arrests. As these latter ‘atypical’ treatment cases are studied by another group, our initial focus will be on developmental disturbances in the younger age-groups. We hope to integrate work from various departments of the Clinic (the Well-Baby Clinic, the Mother-Toddler Group, the Nursery School, as well as the Diagnostic and Clinical Services) by selecting cases who prior to referral for treatment have been observed developmentally. This should enable us to trace the ways in which the child coped or failed to cope with each developmental task; to locate when and where development began to deviate from the expectable norm and began to give rise to pathology; and to identify in each case the relative contributions of constitutional, maturational or environmental factors in these difficulties. It is hoped that this will lead to a better understanding of treatment aims and techniques with such cases.

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