NORMAL" is a word which we use frequently yet find rather difficult to define. In speaking of normal growth and development in children, it often means something approaching an average observed in a population of children. It may refer to the potential for growth and development of a particular child, recognizing that each child is different in varying ways and degrees. Less frequently, "normal" may have a connotation of maximum or near maximum, as rapid rates of growth often appear desirable. Regardless of how the word is used, it will usually also suggest to the reader that normal is "desirable." Obviously, it is not necessarily true that "normal" as most often used must signify more desirable or better than an "abnormal" rate of growth and development.

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