The relation of infantile autism and early childhood schizophrenia to developmental language disorders of childhood

  • Don W. Churchill

DOI: 10.1007/BF01537571

Cite this article as:
Churchill, D.W. J Autism Dev Disord (1972) 2: 182. doi:10.1007/BF01537571


Evidence and arguments are presented to support a thesis that central language deficits related to those found in children with developmental aphasia, but more severe, may be the necessary and sufficient cause of behavior which marks children as autistic and schizophrenic. Deficits which may cut across sensory modalities and differ between individuals, but remain stable within, can be identified in both groups. The two groups also share difficulties such as sequencing problems and deficiencies related to meaning of words that are more subtle than echolalia and pronominal reversal. Language deficits, however, are not said to be the only ones, as other handicaps may account for some variability in clinical cases. Also presented are two case reports illustrating results of an experimental nine-word language used in training and testing of psychotic children.

Copyright information

© Scripta Publishing Corporation 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don W. Churchill
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana University School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Clinical Research Center for Early Childhood SchizophreniaLaRue D. Carter Memorial HospitalIndianapolis