MENTAL RETARDATION IN SCHOOL CHILDREN INFESTED WITH HOOKWORMS1 W. G. SMILLIE, M.D. AND CASSIE R. SPENCER, M.A. One of the most striking clinical symptoms of a severe case of hookworm disease is mental sluggishness. In a case of heavy hookworm infestation both the mental and physical reactions are very slow. Little interest is taken in surroundings. The child does not run and play with other children. He is dull, apathetic, unable to concentrate upon his school problems, and apparently does not hear when spoken to, though slowly comprehending and gradually fulfilling appointed tasks. One has the impression that the child is living in another, entirely separate world, and is only remotely in contact with the everyday world about him. Every teacher of a southern rural school in the hookworm area has noted the immediate and almost startling improvement in mental alertness that occurs following treatment of these heavily infested children. The degree of severity and the extent of the distribution of hookworm disease in the United States is of broad general interest to educators as well as public health workers for there is a large area in the group of Southern States which possesses the potential factors of
Journal of Educational Psychology – PsycARTICLES®
Published: May 1, 1926
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