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Monday, April 20, 2015

Anxious Parents

Gesell, in 1940, wrote about the first five years of a child’s life. He used an example of a little girl with congenital cataracts and a high degree of myopia. This diagnosis would make any mother and father living in 2015 anxious about the life their child would live in the years ahead.

The little girl naturally failed on tests requiring visual discrimination – but she never had any difficulty in demonstrating her normality. It did seem that she a rather vague social rapport with her examiner – but the feeling was that this was caused by her inability to notice changes in facial expressions.

When she was three she responded to pictures with difficulty.

Dog “dog”

Shoe “car”

House “That is a garage”

Clock “That looks like a bowl”

Basket “moon”

Leaf “That’s a dish”

Flag “That’s a cat”

It was felt that she perfectly normal in every other way – other than when she was confronted visually.

Naturally her parents had every right to feel anxious about the future - but parents just have to do what they can. Gesell was writing about a girl who would now be seventy eight. We can only wonder about the course and direction of the girl’s life!

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