• Idiopathic infantile hypercalcaemia;
  • mental handicap;
  • cognitive abilities;
  • behaviour problems

Abstract An investigation of the psychological characteristics of 44 children aged 6–16 years with documented evidence of idiopathic infantile hypercalcaemia revealed cognitive abilities and behavioural patterns which distinguish these children from other menially handicapped groups, The children were all mildly to severely mentally handicapped, bin exhibited superior verbal skills compared to their visual-spatial and motor abilities. They showed high rates of behavioural disturbance, particularly in terms of hyperactivity, social isolation, anxiety, and caning and sleeping difficulties, Other aspects of behaviour, spoken language and personality that were commonly encountered arc also described and quantified. From these observations approaches to remedial teaching arc suggested.