Case reports of two infants reared in their own families who became retarded developmentally due to inadequate maternal care are presented. Maternal deprivation is one of the causes of retarded development in infancy. The presence of the syndrome in family infants requires emphasis and wider recognition. The differential diagnosis includes retardation due to 1) central nervous system lesions, 2) secondary to acute or chronic involvement of organ systems other than the central nervous system, and 3) accompanying infantile psychosis. Diagnosis is made on history, physical examination, developmental tests and response to therapy. While not a common cause of retardation, its recognition is of importance because prognosis for future development is good if appropriate therapeutic measures can be instituted.

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