Experienced clinicians have much to teach us when they recount unusual case histories. The following illustrates the need to think of the family as the unit of medical care. Pediatrics in Review welcomes the submission of similar short clinical fables.—RJH

As I entered the examining room to meet a scheduled appointment late one afternoon, an attractive 4-year-old girl was removing books from the bookcase and placing them on the floor. She then stood on the books to reach a higher shelf for other books until her mother told her to stop. Immediately she reached over my desk and began exploring the examining equipment, fingering the stethoscope, turning on the flashlight, and dialing the telephone as she held the receiver appropriately to her ear. With another “Stop that,” the mother drew the child toward her.

“What’s the problem?” I asked.

“We think she is retarded,” the mother offered. “My doctor wanted...

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