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SPEECH and LANUAGE DISORDERS Examined thought disorder and communication patterns in children with schizophrenia spectrum disorders schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorders and their parents and in a comparison group of children with major depressive disorders and their parents Children with schizophrenia spectrum disorders exhibited significantly more disturbed attention and thought disorder than did depressed children during a family interaction task Although parents of children with schizophrenia spectrum disorders showed higher rates of communication deviance CD on the Thematic Apperception Test TAT-CD index than parents of depressed children the two groups of parents were similar in the communication patterns and levels of thought disorder they exhibited during the interaction task These findings underscore the salience of thought disorder communication disturbance and attention problems in schizophrenic and schizotypal children Despite earlier controversies regarding the diagnosis of schizophrenia in childhood cumulative evidence indicates that although childhood-onset schizophrenia is rare schizophrenia diagnosed using the same criteria applied to adults does occur in children The question of the similarities andor continuities between child- and adult-onset schizophrenia however remains to be resolved Early description of thought disorder as a fundamental symptom in schizophrenia extensive research has examined thought disorder in adult schizophrenics Data on thought disorder in children however are limited Indeed the only conclusion justified on the basis of current evidence is that thought disorder is more common in schizophrenic children than in normal nondisturbed children and in children with infantile autism as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Controlled studies with rigorously diagnosed samples with other major psychopathological conditions are needed to determine whether thought disorder is specific to children with schizophrenia spectrum disorders or is a more general characteristic of children with severe psychopathology HEARING LOSS A social activity scale was administered to 220 mainstreamed hearing-impaired adolescents In general students reported participating in school
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