A multidisciplinary study of 400 children referred to a developmental clinic in an urban ghetto area

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There is increasing emphasis at present on community support and care for children with abnormal development or learning difficulties. Despite this, there have been few studies of such children evaluated in nonresidential facilities, and little attempt has been made to record and analyze systematically the information obtained during their evaluation. Most available studies have focused on one specific form of abnormality such as minimal brain dysfunction,1, 2 learning disabilities (LD),3–6 or mental retardation.6–8 Although most reports have concentrated on white, middle-class children, there is evidence that patterns of referral to diagnostic centers are changing with a trend toward greater utilization of such facilities by low socioeconomic families.7, 8 Kappelman et al9–11 have discussed their findings in disadvantaged black school-age children, and Kenny and Clemmens12 included black children in their report on school children referred because of learning disorders. No study could be found that reported the findings in developmentally disabled, disadvantaged preschool and school-age children, including large numbers of children of Puerto Rican background.

The Center for Child Development, a multidisciplinary clinic located in a low socioeconomic area of the Bronx, New York, studied 400 children between August 1972 and January 1975.

Preschool children were studied because of slow development; school-age children were studied because they were not achieving in school at a level or rate comparable with that of their classmates.

The following report analyzes the background data and the examination results obtained during the study. All information was recorded on forms that provided for transfer of data to . . .



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