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Balikov, H. (1960). Functional Impairment of the Sensorium as a Result of Normal Adaptive Processes. Psychoanal. St. Child, 15:235-242.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 15:235-242

Clinical Problems of the Prelatency and Latency Child

Functional Impairment of the Sensorium as a Result of Normal Adaptive Processes

Harold Balikov, M.D.

This paper is an attempt to present some observations of an unusual family of blind parents and three physiologically normal children. The interesting aspect is that the children of this family look and act as if they were blind. A search of the literature over the last ten years reveals no similar material, therefore I have attempted to offer some suggestions and explanations of the findings.

The family was studied in the Child Development Center of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago over a period of several years, since each child entered the nursery school as he or she came of age. This paper contains a condensed version of the observations made by the staff at the Child Development Center during the children's everyday activity in the nursery school. The paper concerns itself with Carl because he was the most verbal of the three and best illustrates and includes the factors common to all three children.

The father's blindness was due to illness and dates from the time he was two years old. The mother at a very early age had extremely poor vision which became progressively worse until at the age of sixteen she became totally blind from glaucoma. The parents met at a school for the blind and married after graduation. They then moved to Chicago. Their apartment was always kept dark, with all the shades drawn and lights off. Not a window shade was raised until the eldest child, Mary, was old enough to do so. The apartment, in addition, was barren and dirty.

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