Thousands of children with ill-defined neurologic conditions currently reside in pediatric
neuropsychiatric institutes in Romania. A legacy of the the Ceausescu regime, these
institutions warehoused orphans from three years of age on deemed neurologically
damaged or “irrecuperable” and therefore incapable of productive work. Tragically, many
children with delays induced by orphanage confinement during their first three years of
life were misclassified as permanently neurologically damaged and placed within these
institutions. For the past several years, the Romanian government has attempted to close
as many of these institutions as possible, transferring capable children to residential
vocational schools or into group homes. However, the effort to identify competent
children has been limited by the lack of trained personnel and sufficient funding. At the
request of the Romanian government, children in two neuropsychiatric institutes located
in central and north-central Romania were examined by a multidisciplinary team. In
addition to the physical and neurologic examinations, neuropsychologic tests were
utilized including; the Universal Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence (UNIT), Test of Non-
Verbal Intelligence (TONI-2), Bender Gestalt Visual Motor Test, Wechsler Intelligence
Scale for Children (Perf-WISC-III) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).

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New Video Series: Raising Challenging Children

Dr Federici’s 10 Session Series on Raising Challenging Children