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(1973). Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. XI, 1972: Personality Differences in the Perceptually Handicapped. Stanley R. Lesser and B. Ruth Easser. Pp. 458-466.. Psychoanal Q., 42:479-480.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. XI, 1972: Personality Differences in the Perceptually Handicapped. Stanley R. Lesser and B. Ruth Easser. Pp. 458-466.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:479-480

Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. XI, 1972: Personality Differences in the Perceptually Handicapped. Stanley R. Lesser and B. Ruth Easser. Pp. 458-466.

In children with congenitally deviant endowment, the usual theoretical developmental framework cannot be taken for granted. Paralleling the concept

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of 'average expectable environment', the authors propose 'average constitutional endowment'. In the absence of the latter, evaluation, classification, and dynamic formulation are meaningless and/or misleading without knowledge of the very different pathways of development and experience that these children follow.

Considering specifically the congenitally deaf child, the authors detail the kinds of classifications of behavioral symptoms and faulty dynamic formulations that can result. They discuss delayed development of ego organization, especially the 'emotional self' (analogous to Piaget's 'action self'); the probable factors in the empathic deficiencies of deaf children (the feedback interference resulting from their emotional 'obtuseness' and its influence on the kinds of defenses evolved); hypotheses for the relative absence of guilt responses and the predominance of hyperactive, agitated responses; and new formulations for apparent obsessive compulsive patterns. They conclude that: 1, usual psychopathologic categories are poorly applicable; 2, psychic characteristics generally thought of as primary (such as organizations of emotions) need to be further analyzed as to genesis and structure; and 3, further study of the perceptually handicapped can enhance our understanding of the development of ego functions.

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Article Citation

(1973). Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. XI, 1972. Psychoanal. Q., 42:479-480

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