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Mental Retardation and Psychiatric Disorders

  • Rowland P. Barrett
  • Anne S. Walters
  • Arthur F. Mercurio
  • Margaret Klitzke
  • Carl Feinstein

Abstract

Systematic attempts to teach and habilitate mentally retarded children and adolescents began in the early nineteenth century, when Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard (1775–1838), a French physician, attempted to educate Victor, the “wild” 11-year-old boy who was discovered by hunters in the forest of Aveyron. Using techniques similar in theory to current behavior modification methods, Itard aided Victor in developing adequate self-care, social skills, and receptive language ability over a 5-year period. Although Itard considered his approach a failure because Victor did not develop speech, his methods suggested that mentally retarded individuals could acquire and refine a variety of adaptive behaviors through systematic training. Edouard Séguin (1812–1880), who as a medical student had worked with Itard, continued developing his mentor’s techniques, and by the mid-nineteenth century, had established educational programs for mentally retarded individuals throughout Europe (cf. Tylenda, Hooper, & Barrett, 1987).

Keywords

Mental Retardation Developmental Disability Behavioral Assessment Apply Behavior Analysis Social Skill Training 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rowland P. Barrett
    • 1
  • Anne S. Walters
    • 1
  • Arthur F. Mercurio
    • 1
  • Margaret Klitzke
    • 1
  • Carl Feinstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorBrown University School of Medicine, Emma Pendleton Bradley HospitalEast ProvidenceUSA

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