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Bene, A. (1977). The Influence of Deaf and Dumb Parents on a Child's Development. Psychoanal. St. Child, 32:175-194.
   

(1977). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 32:175-194

Problems of Development

The Influence of Deaf and Dumb Parents on a Child's Development

Agi Bene

AS ANALYSTS, WE ARE SOMETIMES SO CONCERNED WITH THE CONflictual aspects of our patients' disturbances that we may be inclined to overlook the contributions of deviational development to our patients' pathology. It sometimes happens that a child presents with a strikingly neurotic clinical picture and that it becomes clear only after prolonged analytic work that there are whole areas of the child's difficulties which interpretation fails to reach.

In cases of this kind the difficulties which we can observe in the analytic process stem from two sources. The first of these is that the resolution of conflict leaves untouched whole areas of the child's ego functions where these are affected by developmental delays, arrests, or deviations. The second is that these very arrests or deviations may themselves result in the child's failure to acquire certain ego capacities essential if he is to take part fully in the treatment process.

The unusual circumstances of the case I shall discuss serve to emphasize these points. Although, clinically, John presented a neurotic picture, this only partially yielded to interpretative technique.

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