Over a period of one year 12 children with complaints which had been diagnosed as due to a psychiatric disorder presented to a paediatric neurological unit where neurological disease was diagnosed. The group was characterized by behavioural symptoms such as deteriorating school performance, visual loss, and postural disturbance, which are unusual in children attending child psychiatric departments. It is suggested that where there is diagnostic uncertainty the presence of these physical symptoms calls for periodic neurological reassessment, and attention is drawn to the rare but serious disorders which may thus be diagnosed. Making an organic diagnosis, however, should not preclude psychosocial management of emotional reactions in these families.
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