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Kaplan-Solms, K. McLean, D. (1995). Differential Diagnosis of Language Disorder in a Child-Analytic Setting. Bul. Anna Freud Centre, 18(3):187-204.

(1995). Bulletin of the Anna Freud Centre, 18(3):187-204

Differential Diagnosis of Language Disorder in a Child-Analytic Setting

Karen Kaplan-Solms and Duncan McLean

Introductory Comments

Delay in language development is a relatively common disorder of childhood. It has been estimated that up to 6% of children have such a problem. An even larger proportion of children have articulatory difficulties (Cantwell & Baker 1985). In some children the language delay is secondary to some other major disturbance such as autism or mental retardation. However the majority have what is designated ‘developmental language delay’, where the primary difficulty is in language production. In this paper we will be looking at three such cases.

These cases were assessed both psychoanalytically and neuropsychologically. The psychoanalytic assessment considered the child's background, environment, development, and current psychological functioning. In so doing, the psychoanalytic assessment attempted to identify specific conflicts and emotional difficulties, as well as to assess individual strengths and weaknesses within the context of the child's development. The neuropsychological assessment considered the children's speech and language symptomatology in relation to the organization of these functions in the brain.

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