An integrated model of psychological diagnosis of children with genetic syndromes and their parents

M. Sergo, S. Caviglia, A. M. Dall'oglio, S. Gentile, L. Milani, A. Giannotti, C. Digilio

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Among the causes of mental disfunction, the genetic syndromes assume greater importance in both a quantitative sense (Kallen, 1988) and a qualitative sense (psychological profiles in mental retardation, Masi, Stella, 1995) The age at diagnosis is high and so children and parents face extended diagnostic procedure with risk of physical weakening and mental break-down. For more than ten years, in our hospital, the units of clinical psychology- neuropsychology and genetic medicine have used an integrated diagnostic procedure for their patients, taking into account the different ways of access often used. Our system of diagnosis envisages simultaneous observations of children and parents during a parallel course conducted separately by different specialists in adjacent rooms. During the initial phase the personal history of the child is confused with that of the parents. In the final phase, through a process of elaboration, the behaviour and emotions, the ability and competence of the children are individualised and separated from those of the parents. Through an integrated comprethension of the biological and psychological aspects, one tries via periodic checkes to reconstruct the sense of self and the identity of these children which are some-time fragmentary as well as the educational competence of the parents often «out of order».

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182
Number of pages1
JournalGenetic Counseling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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