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Pediatrics. 1987 Jul;80(1):46-52.

Conversion reactions in children as body language: a combined child psychiatry/neurology team approach to the management of functional neurologic disorders in children.


Conversion reactions in children represent a form of "body language," a plea for help in a child who has no alternative method of communicating stress. Although conversion reaction may take many forms, this report focuses on those presenting as neurologic dysfunction. The parallel evaluation and treatment of these symptoms by a child psychiatry/pediatric neurology team has demonstrated success in removing the symptom while simultaneously evaluating the underlying stress. Unnecessary medical tests have been avoided and perpetuating factors have been eliminated. Continued family treatment has emphasized health rather than disease and seems to have prevented recurrence.

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