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Case 5

Barbara K. was referred in February, 1942, 1t 8 years, 3 months of age. Her father’s written note stated:

First child, born normally October 30, 1933. She nursed very poorly and was put on bottle after about a week. She quit taking any kind of nourishment at 3 months. She was tube-fed five times daily up to 1 year of age,.

She began to eat then, thoughthere was much difficulty until she was about 18 months old. Since then she has been a good eater, likes to experiment with food, tasting, and now fond of cooking.

Ordinary vocabulary at 2years. but always slow at putting words into sentences. Phenomenal ability to spell, read, and a good writer, but still has difficulty with verbal expression. Written language has helped the verbal. Can’t  get arithmetic except as a memory feat. Repetitious as a baby, and obsessive now: holds things in hands, takes things to bed with her, repeats phrases, gets stuck on an idea, game, etc., and rides it hard, then goes to something else. She used to talk using “you”for herself and “I “for her mother or me, as if were saying things as we would in talking to her.

Very timid, fearful of various and changing things, wind, large animals, etc. Mostly passive, but passively stubborn at times. Inattentive to the point where one wondres if she hears. (She does!) No competitive spirit, no desire to please her teacher. If she knew more than any other memberin the class about something, she would give no hint of it, just keep quiet, maybe not even listen.

In camp last summer she waswell liked, learned to swim, is graceful in water (had laways appeared awkward in her motility before), overcame fear of ponies, played best with children of 5 years of age. at camp she slid into avitaminosis and malnutrition but offered almost no verbal complaints.

Barbara’s father is a prominentpsychiatrist. Her mother is a wll-educated, kindly womwn. a younger brother, born in 1937, is healthy, alert, and well developed.

Barbara “shook hands”uponrequest (offering the upon coming, the right upon leaving) by merely raising a limp hand in the approximate direction of the examiner’s proffered hand; the motion definitely lacked the implication of greeting. during the entire interview there was no indication of any kind of affective contact. a pin prick resulted in withdrawal of her arm, a fearful glance at the pin (not the examiner), and utterance of the word “Hurt!”not addressed to anyone in particular.

She showed no interest intest performances. the concept of test, of sharing an experience or situation, seemed foreign to her. She protruded her tongue and played with her hand as one would with a toy. Attracter by a pen on the desk stand, she said: “Pen like yours at home.”Then, seeing a pencil, she inquired: “May I take this home?”

When told that she might,she made no move to take it. The pencil was given to her, but she shoved it away, saying, “It’s not my pencil.”

She did the same thing repeatedly in regard to other objects. several times she said, “Let’s see Mother”(who in the waiting room).

She read excellently, finishing the 10-year Binet fire story in thirty-threeseconds and with no errors, but was unable to reproduce from memory anything she had read. In the Binet pictures, she saw (or at least) reported no action or relatedness between the single items, which she had no difficultyenumerating. Her handwriting was legible. Her drawing (man, house, cat sitting on six legs, pumpkin, engine) was unimaginative and stereotuped. She used her right for writing, her left for everythin else; she was leftfooted and right-eyed.

She knew the days of the week. she began to name them: “Saturday, Sunday, Monday,”then said, “You go to school”( meaning, “on Monday”), then stopped as if the performance were completed.

Throughout all these procedure, in which-often after several repetitions of the question or command-she complied almost automatically, she scribbled words spontaneously: “oranges”; “lemons”; “bananas”; “grapes”; “cherries”; “apples”; “apricots”; “tangerine”; “grapefruits”; “watermelon juice”; the wordssometimes ran into each other and were obviously not  meant for others to read.

She frequtly interruptedwhatever “conversation”there was with references to “motor transports”and “piggy-back,”both of which-according to her father- had preoccupied her for quite some time. She said, for instance, “I saw motor transports”; “I saw piggy-back when I went ro school.”

Her mother remarked, “Appendages fascinate her, like a smoke stack or a pendulum.”Her father had previously stated: “Recent interest in sexual matters, hanging about when we take a bath, and obsessive interest in toilets.”

Barbara was placed at theDevereux Schools, where she is making some progress in learning to relate herself to people.









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