The clinical features of infantile aphasia include failure or delay in development of speech. When speech develops, it is frequently garbled. Hearing and intelligence may be normal although both are difficult to evaluate. Abnormal behavior may appear in these children simply because they lack normal opportunities to express themselves.
It is pointed out that many of the children of 4 to 5 years of age with delayed speech development may not simply be "deviates from the norm" but may actually suffer from mild degrees of aphasia. Earlier recognition and proper guidance for milder types of aphasia will depend ultimately on better definition of the pattern and rate of normal speech development.
At present, there apparently is little or no agreement either as to frequency or actuality of this syndrome in childhood. Unfortunately, mild cases are apt to be passed over and more severe ones are often tragically mislabeled as mental defectives.
- Received February 14, 1951.
- Copyright © 1952 by the American Academy of Pediatrics