The first part of this book dealt with basic concepts: history, causes, classification, and diagnosis. Then, we turned to the psychology of the individual: perception, learning, intelligence, language, and personality. The last part of the book is concerned with the person living in society: social interactions in family and school, education and treatment methods, and life in the community.
In thinking about the person, our central concept of adaptation again comes to the fore. However, instead of thinking of adaptation as a process in which a person adapts to an unchanging society in family and school, adaptation is regarded as mutual, transactional, dialectic. That is, although it is true that children with disabilities must learn to adapt to their family, neighborhood, school, and workplace, it is also true that society adapts to individual differences between people.
This conception of a mutual relationship between the individual and society has always been a part of the relationship between human societies and the disabled people within them. However, it was not until recently that this idea became an important part of psychological theory and research. Traditionally, it was thought that the goal of education and treatment is to normalize behavior so that the person could adapt more easily to a standard conception of society. Such a perspective is exemplified, for instance, in conventional psychoanalytic and behavioristic treatment methods. However, more recently, it has become clear that, when a family or a society provides education and care for a disability, they are themselves changing in