Psychological research on children with mental and physical handicaps began 200 years ago. Its major development awaited maturation of psychology as an empirical science and social movements for child welfare and education. This book is a record of research as it was accomplished in the 1980s. At the end of the 19th century, behavioral research on handicapped children could at best be characterized as pioneering. By the 1990s, it had become a vigorous activity, with scientists producing hundreds of articles a year. The consequences has been a level of detail in theory and factual support that simply was not available before then.
This volume is written for people who know something about psychology and education, but who are unfamiliar with research on children and handicaps. This might include parents of children with disabilities, upper level undergraduate students, graduate students who are looking for a research topic, and my colleagues in developmental psychology and education of normal children who might wish to familiarize themselves with the recent developments in the study of deviations in behavioral development.
There are 11 chapters, organized into three sections. The first section of four chapters deals with general issues: History and general concepts; classification and prevalence; causes; and diagnosis. The second section is concerned with individual psychology: sensorimotor processes and brain organization; learning and memory; higher mental processes and language; and motivation, personality, and psychopathology. The final three chapters