The prevalence, in children aged under 15, of severe impairments of social interaction, language abnormalities, and repetitive stereotyped behaviors was investigated in an area of London. A “socially impaired” group (more than half of whom were severely retarded) and a comparison group of “sociable severely mentally retarded” children were identified. Mutism or echolalia, and repetitive stereotyped behaviors were found in almost all the socially impaired children, but to a less marked extent in a minority of the sociable severely retarded. Certain organic conditions were found more often in the socially impaired group. A subgroup with a history of Kanner's early childhood autism could be identified reliably but shared many abnormalities with other socially impaired children. The relationships between mental retardation, typical autism, and other conditions involving social impairment were discussed, and a system of classification based on quality of social interaction was considered.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Anthony, E. J. An experimental approach to the psychopathology of childhood autism.British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1958,21, 211–225. (a)
Anthony, E. J. An etiological approach to the diagnosis of psychosis in childhood.Revue de Psychiatrie Infantile, 1958,25, 89–96. (b)
Anthony, E. J. Low grade psychosis in childhood.Proceedings of the London Conference Scientific Study of Mental Deficiency (Vol. 2). London: May & Baker, 1962.
Asperger, H. Die autistischen Psychopathen im kindersalter.Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, 1944,117, 76–136.
Asperger, H. Infections and mental retardation. In P. Bowman & H. Mautner (Eds.),Mental Retardation: Proceedings of the First International Medical Conference, Portland, Maine. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1960. (a)
Asperger, H. Behavior problems and mental retardation. In P. Bowman & H. Mautner (Eds.),Mental Retardation: Proceedings of the First International Medical Conference, Portland, Maine. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1960. (b)
Bartak, L., & Rutter, M. Differences between mentally retarded and normally intelligent autistic children.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1976,6, 109–120.
Brask, B. H. A prevalence investigation of childhood psychosis. InThe 16th Scandinavian Congress of Psychiatry, 1970.
Chess, S. Autism in children with congenital rubella.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1971,1, 33–47.
Chess, S. Follow-up report on autism in congenital rubella.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1977,7, 69–81.
Corbett, J. A., Harris, R., & Robinson, R. G. Epilepsy. In J. Wortis (Ed.),Mental retardation and developmental disabilities (Vol. 7). New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1975.
Critchley, M., & Earl, C. J. C. Tuberose sclerosis and allied conditions.Brain, 1932,55, 311–346.
DeMyer, M. Motor, perceptual-motor and intellectual disabilities of autistic children. In L. Wing (Ed.),Early childhood autism. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Pergamon, 1976.
De Sanctis, S. Sopra alcune varietà della demenza precoce.Rivista Sperimentale de Freniatria e di Medicina Legale, 1906,32, 141–165.
De Sanctis, S. Dementia praecocissima catatonica oder katatonie des früheren kindesalters?Folia Neurobiologica, 1908,2, 9–12.
Earl, C. J. C. The primitive catatonic psychosis of idiocy.British Journal of Medical Psychology, 1934,14, 230–253.
Folstein, S., & Rutter, M. Infantile autism: A genetic study of 21 twin pairs.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 1977,18, 297–322.
Freedman, D. A. Congenital and perinatal sensory deprivation: Some studies in early development.American Journal of Psychiatry, 1971,127, 1539–1545.
Gould, J. Language development and non-verbal skills in severely retarded children: An epidemiological study.Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 1976,20, 129–146.
Greenebaum, J. V., & Lurie, L. A. Encephalitis as a causative factor in behavior disorders in children: Analysis of 78 cases.Journal of the American Medical Association, 1948,136, 923–930.
Haracopos, D., & Kelstrup, A. Psychotic behavior in children under the institutions for the mentally retarded in Denmark.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1978,8, 1–12.
Hulse, W. C. Dementia infantilis.Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 1954,119, 471–477.
Jervis, G. A. The clinical picture. In F. L. Lyman (Ed.),Phenylketonuria. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas, 1963.
Kanner, L. Autistic disturbances of affective contact.Nervous Child, 1943,2, 217–250.
Kanner, L. Irrelevant and metaphorical language in early infantile autism.American Journal of Psychiatry, 1946,103, 242–246.
Kanner, L.Childhood psychosis: Initial studies and new insights Washington: Winston, 1973.
Kanner, L., & Eisenberg, L. Early infantile autism: 1943–1955.American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1956,26, 55–65.
Keeler, W. R. Autistic patterns and defective communication in blind children with retrolental fibroplasia. In P. H. Hoch & J. Zubin (Eds.),Psychopathology of communication. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1958.
Kolvin, I. Studies in the childhood psychoses. I. Diagnostic criteria and classification.British Journal of Psychiatry, 1971,118, 381–384.
Kolvin, I., Humphrey, M., & McNay, A. Cognitive factors in childhood psychoses.British Journal of Psychiatry, 1971,118, 415–421.
Lotter, V. Epidemiology of autistic conditions in young children. I. Prevalence.Social Psychiatry, 1966,1, 124–137.
Lotter, V. Epidemiology of autistic conditions in young children. II. Some characteristics of the parents and children.Social Psychiatry, 1967,1, 163–173.
Mahler, M. S. On child psychoses and schizophrenia: Autistic and symbiotic infantile psychoses.Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 1952,7, 286–305.
Ricks, D. M., & Wing, L. Language, communication and the use of symbols in normal and autistic children.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1975,3, 191–221.
Rutter, M. Autistic children: Infancy to adulthood.Seminars in Psychiatry, 1970,2, 435–450.
Rutter, M. Childhood schizophrenia reconsidered.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1972,2, 315–337.
Rutter, M., & Lockyer, L. A five to fifteen year follow-up study of infantile psychosis. I. Description of the sample.British Journal of Psychiatry, 1967,113, 1169–1182.
Rutter, M., Shaffer, D., & Sturge, C.A guide to a multi-axial classification scheme for psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence. London: Institute of Psychiatry, 1975.
Schaffer, H. R. Early social behaviour and the study of reciprocity.Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 1974,27, 209–216.
Taft, L. T., & Cohen, H. J. Hypsarrhythmia and childhood autism: A clinical report.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1971,1, 327–336.
Trevarthen, C. Conversations with a two-month old.New Scientist, 1974,62, 230–235.
Van Krevelen, D. A. Early infantile autism and autistic psychopathy.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, 1971,1, 82–86.
Wing, J. K., & Hailey, A. (Eds.).Evaluating a community psychiatric service: The Camberwell Register 1964–77. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.
Wing, L. The handicaps of autistic children—a comparative study.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 1969,10, 1–40.
Wing, L. Perceptual and language development in autistic children: A comparative study. In M. Rutter (Ed.),Infantile autism: Concepts, characteristics and treatment. London: Churchill, 1971.
Wing, L., & Gould, J. Systematic recording of behaviors and skills of retarded and psychotic children.Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia. 1978,8, 79–97.
Wing, L., Gould, J., Yeates, S. R., & Brierley, L. M. Symbolic play in severely mentally retarded and in autistic children.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 1977,18, 167–178.
Wing, L., Yeates, S. R., Brierley, L. M., & Gould, J. The prevalence of early childhood autism: Comparison of administrative and epidemiological studies.Psychological Medicine, 1976,6, 89–100.
About this article
Cite this article
Wing, L., Gould, J. Severe impairments of social interaction and associated abnormalities in children: Epidemiology and classification. J Autism Dev Disord 9, 11–29 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01531288
- Social Interaction
- Comparison Group
- Early Childhood
- Mental Retardation