Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 The problem and definition of terms...
 Review of the literature
 Analysis of data
 Summary and conclusions

Title: Study of the Service Provisions for the Negro Mentally Deficient in Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AM00000044/00001
 Material Information
Title: Study of the Service Provisions for the Negro Mentally Deficient in Florida
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Jones, Ethel Marie
Affiliation: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Publisher: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Publication Date: 1953
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Volume ID: VID00001
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notis - ABV5540

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
    List of Tables
        Page v
    The problem and definition of terms used
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Review of the literature
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Analysis of data
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
Full Text



A Thesis

Presented to

the Graduate Committee and Faculty of the

Florida A and M University

In Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree

Master of Science


Ethel Marie Jones

November 1993



A Thesis presented to the Graduate
Committee and Faculty of the Florida
A and M University in Partial Ful-
fillment of the Requirements for the
Degree Master of Science


V f{LO, .

r) ~ c o /-


The successful completion of this thesis would
have been impossible without the unusual amount of en-
couragement, the many helpful criticisms and the valu-
able suggestions made by many individuals. This state-
ment therefore, would be incomplete without a word of
gratitude to a few of these persons.

Special acknowledgement is made to Mr. Robert
Gates of the Florida State Department of Education, who
not only made available the reports which are analyzed
in the thesis, but who in addition made many valuable
suggestions as to the types of information the analysis
should reveal.

Mr. Leonard H. 0. Spearman, the Chairman of the
Thesis Committee, is remembered kindly for furnishing
the inspiration which enabled the writer to carry on at
times when the routine was difficult.

Respect for logic and sound educational method-
ology has been held up constantly for the writer by
Mr. Neville Clarke, to whom she is deeply grateful.

Mrs. L. W. Sewell has rendered invaluable assist-
ance through her constructive criticism of the mechanics
of writing and detailed suggestions.

To the authors of the many documentary sources
consulted, the writer is deeply grateful.

Also, the writer wishes to express gratitude to
her husband, Reverend James J. Jones for his kind words
of encouragement.






USED . . . . 1

Introduction . 1

Statement of the problem . ..

Definition of terms used . 5

Importance of the study . 6

Basic assumptions .... 7

Limitations of the study . 7

Organization of the study . 7


Criteria of mental deficiency .. 10

Incidence ... ....... 15

Classification . . 19

Social control and training . 22


Method . . 34

Analysis of Data .. . 34


Summary .. . . . 50

Conclusions .... 59




I. Incidence of Mental Deficiency among
Men Drafted for Military Service 17

II. Special Classes for Sub-Normals . 28

III. Urban Areas of Florida with a Popu-
lation of 25,000 or more . 43

IV. Total Expenditures for Mental Defec-
tives in nine States 192 . 49

V. Number of white and Negro Teachers
for the Mentally Retarded by

Counties with Suggested Increases 53



Introduction. The education of exceptional child-
ren represents an attempt on the part of the school to
furnish equal opportunity to individuals who differ in
physical, mental and social characteristics. It is a
logical application to the truth that "all men are created
equal."1 This principle of a democracy coupled with the
principle of inalienable right of the individual to "life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness set the stage for
the growing concern for those who are less priviledged as
well as for the more privileged. And it is the responsi-
bility of public education to see that this group gets
what it needs.
The evidence indicates already that the most drama-
tic growth in education has taken place through the enact-
ment of legislation stimulating the development of statewide
programs. In 1949 forty-one states had laws authorizing

or requiring local school districts to organize special
schools or classes for one or more groups of exceptionAl
children; and that thirty-four of those states have made

1Samuel A. Kirk, "Basic Facts and Principles Underly-
ing Special Education," Sixteenth Yearbook of the National
Society for the Study of Education, Part II iBloomington,
IllinoisT Public School Publishing Company, 1950), p. 4.

I 44845


appropriations to help local districts meet the excess
cost of such service.
It should be further noted that twenty-three states
have enacted legislation providing supervisory or consul-

tative service in special education through the state
education department and that eleven more states have

furnished such service under the general powers granted the
chief state school officer. Since only sixteen states had

supervisory personnel in special education at the state
level in 1940, it is obvious that this phase of the program

is growing satisfactorily.3
The State of Florida has made several significant

advancements growing out of legislative enactments pertain-

ing to the provisions for exceptional children. The follow-

ing extracts from the 1947 Florida Law pertain specifically
to the education for exceptional children.

CHAPTER 23726 (No. 112)

board in each county is hereby directed to ascertain

2Elise H. Martens, State Legislation for Education
of Exceptional Children and Youth. United States Office
of Education, Bulletin No. 2, 1949 Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1949.
3Kirk, Q. Cit. p. 8.



through the county superintendent the number, names
and conditions of exceptional children who require
special educational services or facilities in order
to gain the full benefits of an education, and to
provide insofar as practicable such services and
facilities as may be necessary to assure consistent
with their individual needs and their physical and
mental capacity.

Crippled Children's Commission, the State Board of
Health, and the State Board of Social Welfare shall
direct their field workers to review their case
records on or before March 31 of each year and to
report to the county superintendent of each county
the names and other pertinent information for all
exceptional children in the county whose conditions,
in their opinion, require special educational


for exceptional children and youth for counties meet-
ing requirements prescribed by Section 236.61, Florida
Statutes 1911, as amended, for the education of ex-
ceptional children and youth, shall be computed as

(a) For each group of ten or more exceptional children
properly qualified full-time teacher as a special
class, or taught individually as home bound or
hospitalized children unable to attend school for
the major portion of a year; one instruction unit
shall be allowed; provided, that the minimum
number of pupils required for such units may be
reduced to not less than five, as authorized by
regulations of the State Board, for special situ-
ations where the instruction of a larger number
would not be feasible or practicable; and provided,
further, that one-fifth of a unit may be authorized
for each exceptional child taught in communities


where fewer than five exceptional children are
in need of special instruction as determined by
the county board in accordance with the provisions
of law.

(b) For each properly qualified member of the instruc-
tional staff devoting full-time to the instruction
or improvement of exceptional children from regu-
lar classes as prescribed by regulations of the
State Board: one instruction unit shall be allowed.

(c) For each group of ten or more exceptional children
between three and five years of age who need speci-
fic instruction for entrance into special classes
or schools because of deafness or other similar
handicaps, as prescribed by the regulations of the
State Board, and for the instruction of them a
full-time qualified teacher is to be employed: one
instruction unit shall be allowed.

Unquestionably, these provisions clearly establish

the responsibility of the state to provide for the exceptional

child as well as for the ordinary child. A preliminary

step, however, to the establishment of a sound and effective

program for the education of exceptional children is an in-

vestigation designed to present a composite factual picture

of the nature and extent of the problem in Florida's public


Wesson states,"unquestionably, these provisions

clearly establish the responsibility of the state to pro-

vide for the exceptional as well as the normal child."'

'Adrianna Wesson, "An Analysis of Florida Principals'
Reports on Exceptional Children," (unpublished Master's
Thesis, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College,
Tallahassee, 1951), p. 3.


The writer then directs her attention to the service pro-

visions which have evolved as a result of specific legisla-

tive enactments for the Negro mentally deficient child.

Statement of the Problem. This problem represents an

attempt on the part of the author to point out the direction

which the State of Florida has taken in regard to the pro-

vision of the education of Negro mentally deficient children.

is will include: (1) an analysis of the counties reports

regarding the service provisions for the mentally deficient,

and (2) an analysis of these reports to determine the in-

cidence of the mentally deficient reported.
Definition of Terms Used. 1. Exceptional children.

"Those who deviate from what is supposed to be average in

physical, mental, emotional, or social characteristics to

such an extent that tVey require special educational ser-

vices in order to develop to their maximum capacity."5

2. Mental Deficiency. "A state of social incompe-

tence obtaining at maturity, or likely to obtain at

maturity, resulting from developmental mental arrest of

constitutional (hereditary or acquired) origin; the condition

H. J. Baker, et al, "Basic Facts and Principles
Underlying Special Education," Forty-Ninth Yearbook of the
National Society for the Study of Education, Part II
(Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1920), p. 3.


is essentially curable through treatment and unremedial
through training except as treatment and training instill
habits which superficially compensate for the limitations
of the person so affected while under favorable circum-

stances and for more or less limited periods of time."

3. Brain-injured child. "A child who before,
d ing or after birth has received an injury to or suffered
n infection of the brain."7

ImportanCe of the Study. It becomes necessary in
light of the increasing attention directed towards ade-
quate service provisions for exceptional children all over
America, to examine the status of Florida's program for
the Negro mentally deficient child. Also this study be-
comes significant as it is one approached in identifying
the number of cases reported mentally deficient by county
as well as the number of counties affording specialized
training for this group.

6Edgar A. Doll, "Essentials of an Inclusive Concept
of Mental Deficiency," American journal of Mental Defi-
ciency, XLVI (October, 1941), pp. 214-19.
A. A. Strauss and E Lehtinen he Pschoatholo
and Education of the Brain-Injured hill Tew York:
Grune and Stratton, 1948) p. 6.


Basic Assumptions. i. There is a genuine need

for adequate service provisions for Negro children labeled

as mentally deficient.

2. That only recently has Florida made definite

steps in the direction of facilities for Negro and white

mentally deficient children.

Sources of Data. These data for this study were
largely obtained from the following sources: (1) Personal

interviews with Mr. Terry Lee, Coordinator of State

Institutions and Dr. Robert Gates, Supervisor of the De-

partment of Education for Exceptional Children of Florida,

(2) Biennial Reports, Superintendent of Public Instruction,

State of Florida (1946-48) and (1948-50); Florida State

Department of Education Bulletin No. 55. The writer also

utilized many references in journals and magazines dealing

specifically with the mentally deficient child.

Limitations of the Study. This study involves only
an analysis of the service provisions, the incidence of

one group of exceptional children--The mentally deficient

Negro children of Florida.

Organization of the Study. This study is organized
into four chapters. Chapter I, sets forth the introduction,

the importance of the study, definitions of terms used and
also with the organization of the remainder of the study.


In Chapter II a review of related literature is presented
on the mentally defective. It is divided into four parts;
(1) criteria of mental deficiency; (2) incidence; (3)
classification; and (4) training and social control. Chap-
ter III is an analysis of Florida's educational provisions
or the Negro mentally deficient child, and Chapter IV
contains the summary, conclusions and recommendations.



The writer is attempting in this chapter to review

specifically four areas of concern on the mentally de-

ficient child. Although each in itself could serve as a

point of departure for future research, its importance at

the reviewing stage is magnified here.

Part I deals specifically with attempts to establish

criteria of mental deficiency so that an acceptable defi-

nition can te derived; Part II deals with the studies

relating to the incidence of the mentally deficient; Part

III deals with attempts to classify the mentally defective

group and Part IV with the techniques employed in the

training and social control of the mentally deficient.

Criteria of Mental Deficiency. Perhaps the most

startling discovery to the beginning student in the field

is the difficulty in developing an acceptable set of cri-

teria by which to label the mentally deficient.

The Americans reliance on the use of the I.Q. as

the sole criterion by which to label a person as mentally

deficient becomes significant, especially when compared

to the importance the British place on social adequacy.

Each of these views has been subjected to extreme


criticism by a number of authorities in the field. Doll
has pointed out the inadequacies in the I.Q. approach:

"The use of any single I.Q. discounts the
important multiple aspects of mental measure-
ment, the probable error of any single
measurement of intelligence, the distinction
between the brightness and level, the overlap
in intelligence between high-grade mental
deficiency and low-grade normality. It em-
ploys an illogical and unvalidated statistical
concept without safeguarding the welfare of the
individual, his family or society. It further
ignores the clinical varieties and the etiological
origins. It stops short at an arbitrary statis-
tical gate-post and does not concern itself
with the many ramifications of the conditions
which if adequately explored would reveal the
absurdity of its point of view."

= Wallin earlier expressed several main objections to

the I.Q. classification of the mentally deficient:
1. Except in perfectly obvious cases, no partic-
ular I.Q. has been found to be absolute
proof of mental deficiency. The most careful
investigators do not agree as to which point
on the scale should distinguish the mentally
deficient from the normal.

2. The I.Q. is relatively constant for normal
children. The fluctuations in I.Q. are greater
for children at both extremes of the intellect-
ual scale.

3. In itself, the I.Q. does not indicate the in-
telligence or the diagnosis.

8E. A. Doll, "Is Mental Deficiency Curable?"
American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 1947, 5l pp. 420-28.

J.. E. W. Wallin Clinical and Abnormal Psychology,
Houghton Mifflin Co., 1927, New YoE, p. 201.


It then appears that the use of the I.Q. as the

sole criterion of mental deficiency is largely an American

phenomenon. In England, since the Mental Deficiency Act

of 1913, the criterion of social adequacy has been empha-
sized. This is certainly reflected in the definition of
Tredgold,lO who defines amentia as, "a state of incomplete

mental development of such a kind and degree that the in-

dividual is incapable of adapting himself to the normal

environment of his fellows in such a way as to maintain

existence independently of supervision, control, or external

support." Tredgold's justification for his definition is

seen in his statement, ll think we may say that the funda-
mental purpose of the mind is that of enabling the individ-

ual so to adapt his conduct to the requirements of the

normal environment of his case as to maintain an indepen-

dent existence; that if he possesses this capacity he must

be regarded as normal; but that if he lacks this essential
mental attribute, he must be regarded as abnormal or

mentally defective,"

This above statement makes the writer wonder how much
agreement there would be between a representative sampling

1.A. F. Tredgold, A Textbook of Mental Deficiency,
Sixth Edition, Baltimore, W. Wood and Co., 1937, p. L.f
l10 Cit P. 4.


of American and English clinicians if they were asked to

pick out mental detectives from a selected sample of a


Sarason asserts five contentions why Tredgold's

criteria cannot be diagnostically helpful:12

1. They are stated in a way which may mean
different things to different people;

2. Tredgold eschews the I.Q. because it does
not differentiate detectives from non-
defectives and hence he is left with inde-
.pendent social adaptation as the only
Criterion of the completeness of mental

3. There is no reason to believe that this
criterion differentiates detectives from
non-defectives any better than the I.Q.;

4. The concept of a "normal" environment is
very vague and seems to be based on abi-
trary standards of value and morality,
neglecting the relationship between be-
havior and cultural variations;

5. Being able to meet as adequately as one's
fellows the requirements of the testing
situation is considered as unrelated to
the problem of mental development.
It becomes evident from the preceding discussion

that there has been considerable confusion in the past as

to what constitutes mental deficiency. The writer, how-

ever, is inclined to believe that professional thinking

12S. B. Sarason, Psychological Problems in Mental
Deficiency, Harper and Brothers, New York, p. 7.

today accepts the criteria Doll has suggested as the guides

for an acceptable definition of mental deficiency. His

definition is as follows:13
"Mental deficiency is a state of social incom-
petence obtaining at maturity, or likely to
obtain at maturity, resulting from developmental
mental arrest of constitutional (hereditary or
acquired) orgin; the condition is essentially
incurable through treatment and unremedial
through training except as treatment and train-
ing instill habits which superficially compen-
sate for the limitations of the person so
affected while under favorable circumstances and
for more or less limited periods of time."

Kelly and Stevens suggests that "the classification

of pupils in the early stages of school experience is im-

portant so that each individual may more readily learn to

respond to selective social treatment and educational train-


They further state that, "as a practical procedure,

the school might well be guided by the following criterion

in determining those who will be classified as mentally

handicapped: pupils who are found by competent examiners to

have potentialities which will enable them to respond to

the advantages of a special-education program designed to

13Edgar A. Doll, "Essentials of an Inclusive Con-
cept of Mental Deficiency," American Journal of Mental
Deficiency, XLVI (1941) pp. 214-19.


assist them in their efforts to succeed in the home, the
school, and the community."14
Incidence. Having attempted to establish the cri-
teria of mental deficiency the writer poses to reveal some
findings relative to the incidence of mental deficiency.
The data on the incidence appears to be limited.
This can be attributed to the disagreements over defini-
tion of mental deficiency, the methods of examinations
employed, as well as by the extent and specificity of the
Pinter reportedl5 that at the turn of the century,
prior to the use of mental tests that the number of mental
detectives in the general population was found to be about
five persons per thousand. Goddard using the 1908 Binet-
Simon scale without employing a comprehensive standard of
clinical diagnosis reported three per cent of an elementary
school population mentally deficient.16

314 M. Kelly and H. A. Stevens "Special Education
for the Mentally Handicapped," he Education of Exceptional
Children, 49th Yearbook NSSE, Part II, p. 238.

1R, Pintner, "The Feeble-minded Child," Murchison
(ed.) A Handbook of Child Psychology, Worcester, Clark
University Press, 1933, pp. 802-841.
16H. H. Goddard, Feeble-mindedness: Its Causes and
Consequences, New York, MacMillan Company, -1952), pp.

Numerous investigations have reported results
ranging from four to ten per cent of school children "test-
ing" within the Binet I.Q. limits of mental deficiency.
Obviously, other criteria would be required to properly
label all these cases mentally deficient.
Key demonstrated the extreme differences in inci-
dence according to type of community studied.17 In this
inquiry more than half the individuals in one small iso-
lated area and more than a quarter in another were
considered mentally deficient. In a surrounding area of
larger scope this proportion dropped to seventeen per one
thousand. For the entire area (about seven hundred square
miles and sixteen thousand inhabitants) the proportion was

32 per one thousand.
Table I, gives a distribution by states of the ratio
of mentally deficient who were rejected by camps and local
boards. This table is reproduced from the report of the
Surgeon-General of the Army.18 These results indicated
that twelve per 1000 of all men drafted for military duty
during World war I were rejected because of mental deficiency.

17W. E. Key, Feeble-minded Citizens in Pennsylvania,
(publ. pub. Charities Association Pa., No. 16) Philadelphia:
(1915) Public Charaties Association of Pennsylvania.
18M. W. Ireland, Defects Found in Drafted Men
Washington, D. C., Government Printing Office (192~) p. 175.






6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33

R. I.
N .Mex.
N. Y.

30. yu
1 .12

- --


----- ----- --- ------- ----- ~c~wpm-

-go Now

~' --

- --- -- ~ -----*
- -'- '- "' '~71

I -

----- --

-- I


Table I Continued

3 6 19 12 15 18 21 24 27 3 -0.
Wash. 8.22
N.J._ 8.21
D.C. 8.18
Calif. 7.72
Dela. -- 7.43
Neb. 7.37
Utah 7.21
Idaho 6.88
Alaska 5___04
Mont. 4.09
Wyo. 3.82
Nev. 2.64
Ariz 2.32
Spec. 14.13
U.S.* 12.06



The distribution by states varied from one-quarter of one

per cent in Arizona to three per cent in Vermont. These

percentages show some correlation with other aspects of


Perhaps the most informative studies made on the in-
cidence of mental deficiency was conducted by the Wood

Committee in England.19 Representative samples were studied

and the Committee found at least eight mentally deficient

persons per one thousand for the total population of England

and Wales.

The data on the institutionalized mental detectives

indicate that perhaps ten per cent of institutional cases

are idiots, thirty per cent imbeciles and sixty per cent

morons. Outside institutions the proportion is less well

known. The Wood Committee found four times as many imbeciles

as idiots and four or five times as many morons as imbeciles.

Perhaps as techniques of sampling, and clearer clas-
sifications emerge, studies will give a clearer and more

definitive picture of the incidence of mental deficiency.

Classification. Sarason states that, "one of the

purposes of a classificatory schema is to group cases in

19A. H. Wood, Report of the Mental Deficiency Committee,
Pt. IV, London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1929.


such a way that the differences between groupings are
greater than the differences within groupings. In short,

the aim is to produce homogenous groups."20 The pur-
pose of the writer is to present here some of the classi-

fications which have been developed to enable workers to

properly work with the mentally deficient.

Tredgold asserts that the mentally deficient can
be divided in regard to their causation into two groups:21

1. Mental Deficiency due to inheritance.
In these cases the defect is considered
to be of "germinal intrinsic or endo-
genous" orgin. This group has been
labeled the primary amentias.
2. Amentia or mental deficiency due to en-
vironment. In these cases the defect is
of extrinsic or exogenous orgin. These
cases are labeled secondary amentias.

Later studies indicate that Tredgold's conception
of genetic transmission cannot be accepted in toto, however,

there is a general agreement that certain kinds of mental

deficiency have a generic orgin.

In contrast to Tredgold's etiological classifica-
tion, Lewis22 has proposed dividing the mental deficiencies

20S. B. Sarason, Psychological Problems in Mental
Deficiency, N. Y., Harper and BrotherIs (19) -. 2. .-
21A. F. Tredgold A Textbook of Mental Deficiency,
7th ed. Baltimore, Wiliimss and WilE~ns Col, 197 ,
22E. D. Lewis, "Types of Mental Deficiency and their
Social Significance," Journal of Mental Science: 1933, 79,
pp. 298-304.


into two main types: the sub-cultural and the pathologi-

cal. Under the pathological type Lewis groups all those

cases "whose condition is invariably associated with and

in most cases due to some definite organic lesion or ab-

normality." "The sub-cultural includes those cases of

mental defect in which no such alien factor is found."

Strauss has classified the mentally deficient into

two groups--the endogenous and the exogenous. His endo-

genous may be compared with Tredgold's primary amentia or

Lewis' sub-cultural type. The exogenous or brain-injured

type is defined by Strauss as follows:23

"A brain child is a child who before, during or

after birth has received an injury to or suffered an in-

fection of the brain. As a result of such organic impair-

ment, defects of the neuro-motor system may be present or

absent; such a child may show disturbances in perception,

thinking, and emotional behavior, either separately or in


Sarason's24 garden-variety defective is similar to

23A. A. Strauss and L. E. Lchtinen, Psychopathology
and Education of the rain-Injured Child, New York, Grune
and Stratton, 1948, p. .--

2C. M. Louttit, Clinical Psychology, Harper and
Brothers, New York, 1947, pp. 215-19,


Lewis' sub-cultural type. The diagnosis in these cases

is made when intelligence test results indicate defective

or inferior intelligence in one or both parents and in prac-

tically all the sublings and failure to find any non-

hereditary factors.

The writer has attempted in this section to point

out some of the classifications of writers in the field so

that a clearer conception of the mentally defective group

can be realized.

Social Control and Training. The most serious

problems presented by the mentally deficient are their social

maladjustments. This has long been recognized, and much

energy has been devoted to the study of such problems.

These studies have led to the conclusion that "all the

mentally deficient are potentially criminal, immoral, de-

linquent, or in general socially pathological. While this

is no doubt true, it is also true that every individual is

potentially anti-social. The basic difference is not in

intelligence, but in the ament's lack of recognition of

responsibility for or consequences or his acts.

Studies such as the Kallikak's25 and other degenerate

families and communities show the possible close association

2$H. H. Goddard, he KalliKak Family, New York,
MacMillan, 1913.


mental deficiency and anti-social or asocial behavior.
Conclusive data showing the frequency of delinquency and
dependency among the mentally deficient are not available.
Case studies and statistical surveys agree in pointing out
that the mentally deficient constitute an appreciable pro-
portion of the socially abnormal classes. Therefore, all

programs for the guidance and management of a mentally
deficient patient must consider the possibility of exist-

ing as further social difficulties.

The major problem of social welfare in relation to
mental deficiency is the care and training of morons. This
can be attributed to the fact that a large majority of them
live unnoticed in their communities and are held accountable
for a higher degree of social performance than they are


Special class instruction in public schools for
mentally deficient children who live at home affords an ex-
ceptionally good means of assisting moron children to make

a favorable social adjustment.26

Louttit presents some tentative guiding suggestions
regarding institutionalization:27

26E. A. Doll, The Feeble-minded Child, L. Carmichael
(ed.) Manual of Child Psychology, New York, John Wiley and
Sons (19T6), pp. oo-81.
27C. M. Louttit, Clinical Psychology, New York,
Harper and Brothers, 1947, Tp. 230.

Institutionalization should be recommended:

1. For idiots and low-grade imbeciles when
the family is unable or unwilling to care
for them, or where there is no family.

2. For all grades of mental detectives when
definite anti-social habits are present,
and when the persons present a menace to
other people.

3. For the higher grade mental defective when
the community does not provide adequate
training and supervisory facilities.

4. For girls of higher-grade ability, at least
temporary custodial institutional guidance
is probably more necessary than for boys.

5. For either (1), (2) or (4) in this list,
private residential schools should be
recommended if those responsible for the
patient can afford to send him.

Institutionalization should not be recommended, or

should be only tentatively recommended:

1. For children of any grade whose parents are
willing and financially able to care for
them by providing sufficient private train-
ing and supervision.

2. For young children who have not had an op-
portunity of demonstrating whether or not
they can adjust. This is true only if
(satisfactory training and facilities are
available in the community.

3. For any child, even though he has a definite
inferior performance level who is satisfac-
tory adjusting to the community in which he
lives, and gives promise of continuing to do


Louttit states, "Obviously, the training of the
mentally deficient child, as well as of the normal child,
must begin in the home. Therefore, one important task of

the clinical psychologist is to help parents to help their
children. This can be done, of course, only if the parents

are themselves capable and willing. When they are capable

but unwilling, or incapable but willing, or neither, then

society must take the initiative in training the child.

When the parents are both willing and reasonably capable of

helping the child, there are certain things which they
must clearly understand; among them are the following:28

1. The performance ability of the mentally retarded
child is growing in much the same fashion as the normal

child's, but at a slower rate. The rate of growth, as well

as the level reached at any particular time, is roughly

indicated by the I.Q.

2. Within limits, the establishment of desirable
habits is possible. The six-year old with an I.Q. of 50

can hardly be expected to be or to do all the things that

a normal six-year old is or does, but he can be expected
to do the things that are usual for a three or four-year


28Ibid., pp. 211-212.


3. The establishment of such behavior habits as
elimination control, talking, feeding, dressing, polite-

ness, cleanliness, etc., is quite possible--and necessary.

But they cannot be established at as early an age as in

normal children. Furthermore, it is to be expected that
they will take longer to establish.

4. Children of very low-grade ability (e.g.,
I.Q.'s below 40) will probably never be completely inde-
pendent of the parents or other persons. Therefore, pro-

vision for their future must be made.

5. In homes where one child is defective and other
children are normal, the defective child must have only

his share of the parents' attention, but he must not be
denied that. Oversolicitude for or rejection of the defec-

tive child is as undesirable as similar attitudes toward

normal children.

6. There is, or rather should be, no stigma attached
to inferior mental ability. Therefore, any available

assistance should be accepted for the child.

7. Specifically, the preceding point means that
special educational regimes, either in the public school

or in private or state institutional schools, should be

taken advantage of.


classes have begun; but they are not to be found today
in even half of our city school systems. Table II shows
the number and population of classes for sub-normals in

1938 according to the data of Herlihy, et. al.29 Evi-
dently there are many communities which do not have special
class facilities for this group of children. Where this



Cities 1940 Cities Reporting Enroll-
Population Group Census Special Classes ment
100,000 and over 102 78 78,943
10,000 to 99,999 985 358 21,264
2500 to 9999 2387 64 3,44

is true, the psychoclinician, of course, cannot recommend
attendance in special classes. The total enrollment in
the classes reported was 103,751, with approximately 22,000
additional in state and private residential schools, making
a total of about 126,000 sub-normals who had the advantage
of special educational facilities. In 1938 there were

29Lester B. Herlihy, et. al., "Statistics of City
School Systems, 1937-1938," United States Office Education
Bulletin, 1940, No. 2, Chapter 3, Biennial Survey
Education in United States, 1941.


8. It must always be kept in mind that the best
welfare of the child is being sought. Hence, questions of

expediency, comfort, and family pride must be secondary.

The psychologist and the teacher can be of great

help to the parents in advising and planning specific train-

ing procedures. However, no amount of help will be of

avail if the parents expect too much or too little from

the child. The clinical psychologist must consider it one

of his tasks to follow a child's progress closely and to

be ready with aid, so that the child may make the best use

of hispossibilities.

After the age of six, society insists on more formal

education than that usually provided for in the home. This

is reflected in the free public schools and the compulsory

attendance laws. Such laws make little or not exception

for the sub-normal. Therefore, we must assume that the

schools have as much responsibility for training sub-normals

as they have for normals. At first, the schools undertook

the responsibility by trying to teach the sub-normal child

in the regular classroom. The difficulties in this were

soon recognized, and the first special class for sub-normals

was organized in Providence in 1896. Within the next five

years classes were begun in Springfield, Chicago, Boston

New York, and Philadelphia. Since that time many of these


over twenty-five million children in schools in the

United States. If we accept two per cent of these as

being sufficiently defective to require special edu-

cational facilities, there are some 500,000 children.

It is evident from the figures quoted above that only

about twenty-five per cent of these children are being

cared for in special classes or residential schools.

The aims of special education for sub-normal

children are essentially the same as those of education

in general, but there is a slightly different emphasis

in the direction of preparing for a more circumscribed

socio-economic life. Specifically, the aims of education

for the sub-normal may be stated as follows:30

1. Health. Adequate habits of good physical

hygiene should be formed. As with the formation of all

habits in the mentally deficient, this must be done

specifically. Generalities on the need for cleanliness,
care of teeth, avoidance of infection, etc., will not be

sufficient. The mentally deficient child must be taught

to brush his teeth, wash his hands and face, and so on,

each as a special habit.

30_. Cit., pp. 213-215.


2. Tool Subjects. Reading, writing, and arith-
metic should be taught, of course, but the child's

limitations will determine how extensively. Simple count-

ing, number recognition, making change, and similar

processes in arithmetic; ability to read signs and news-

papers; writing his name and simple letters, should be a

basic minimum in all cases.

3. Social Life. Attention should be directed to-
ward teaching the sub-normal child something concerning

his relations to social institutions. He may be taught

some conception of the part he may play in political,

religious, industrial, recreational, or other aspects of

community life. More immediately, this social training

may concern itself with his place in the family group and

the contribution he may make to it.

4. Personality and Character. It is as important

for the sub-normal child to have a stable, well-integrated

personality as for the normal child. Perhaps it is even

more necessary with this group to teach them socially

desirable character traits such as honesty, industrious-

ness, and the like.

*. Leisure. Perhaps one of the most difficult
problems of all education is training in the wise use of

leisure. For the sub-normal many leisure-time activities


offer an extensive field of exploitation for the sub-

normal. It is quite probable that lack of socially accept-

able means of occupying their leisure time is the indirect
cause of delinquency among the mentally deficient.

6. Vocation. Occupations open to the sub-normal
are limited, and most of them require manual, concrete

activity. Therefore, the schools should emphasize pre-
vocational work in developing manual skills. The use and

mechanics form the basis of more advanced training in a

specific trade. While all the preceding aims are important,

this one, which is related to the mental defective's whole

economic adjustment, is probably most important.

An excellent generalization of the aim of special
sub-normal education has been made by Dr. C. S. Berry,31

who says, "Since about twenty per cent of the adult popu-

lation are engaged in unskilled labor the folly of

attempting to prepare children of the most inferior intel-
ligence for skilled labor or for electrical work is self-
evident. The aim of the teacher, after a thorough trial

in the special class has demonstrated the impossibility of

the pupil's ever successfully doing regular work, should

31Charles S. Berry, "The Handicapped School Children
in Michigan," Michigan State Department of Education,
Bulletin No. ll, 1926. ---.... .


be to prepare him to become a law-abiding, self-supporting

citizen in the simplest occupations."

The clinical psychologist's recommendation for
special class work must be guided by several factors. In

the first place, special class facilities must be avail-

able. Where there are none, the regular classroom teacher

may be able to help the sub-normal child if she is aware

of his limitations and what they mean in connection with

academic achievement. Second, the ability levels accepted

in the special class will influence recommendations.

I.Q.'s from seventy to eighty constitute the upper limit,
and about fifty the lower limit, for most classes. Child-

ren within these limits whose school achievement or place-

ment is low should be placed in special classes, at least

for trial periods. Sometimes children with I.Q.'s below

fifty are able to profit somewhat by work in special

class. Beyond the upper limit, children with I.Q.'s in

the eighties and nineties may occasionally be sent to

special classes for a limited period in order to bring spe-

cific academic achievement up to a satisfactory grade


Frequently, neither the home nor the school is en-
tirely satisfactory in training mentally deficient children.


An extremely low I.Q., inadequate home conditions, and

socially undesirable established habits are three of the

reasons. In such cases, training may best be carried on

in a residential school or institution.

The writer now turns attention to Chapter III,

where an attempt will be made to reveal the movement of

the training program for the mentally defective child in




Method. Much of the data included in this chapter

was secured from personal interviews with Mr. Terry Lee,

Coordinator of State Institutions, and Dr. Robert Gates,

Department of Education for Exceptional Children. From
their offices, the writer secured such publications as were

pertinent to the education of the mentally retarded Negro

child in the State of Florida. Since there is very little

published data on the status of the Negro in the Florida

program for training the mentally retarded, all of the

material was supplemented with the first hand information

derived from these two particular sources.

Analysis of ata. The State of Florida has long ago

realized that some provisions are necessary for children who

cannot adequately be taught, in or who would not profit from,

standard classroom teaching and activities; and to this end

the state has met the problem through county education for

exceptional children and through the state supported State of

Florida Farm Colony for Epileptic and Mentally Deficient

Children (hereinafter referred to as State Farm Colony) at

Gainesville, Florida.

Despite the recognition of this need for ex-

ceptional children, the state as a whole made no
provisions for Negro children until July 15, 1953,

when the State Farm was remodeled and enlarged to

accommodate 150 Negro internees. Until this time the

bulk of the training, such as it was, was left to the

individual counties both for the selection of those

Negro children needing such assistance, and for the
make-up and arrangement of classes for them. Accord-

ing to the State Board of Education (as related to

education of the exceptional child) the following

arrangements are made with the county.

I. Application. Each county board files with

the State Superintendent its estimate of

students and needed teachers by May 1, and

its application for classes by June 1. The

application includes the approximate size

of the class (or unit), the name of the

school where work is to be offered, the type

of handicap, and a detailed plan of opera-


2. Determination of Unit. Any county proposing

to set up new classes and employ additional


personnel must show conclusive evidence
that one full unit is needed (for any
group of students not able to attend school
the previous year). A unit is defined to
be a class of not less than ten.32
Admission to these classes is processed in the

following manner: the child must be given a recognized
group intelligence test having both verbal and non-
verbal features, given by a county-approved teacher or
supervisor. This test is followed by an individual
Stanford-Binet test or equivalent intelligence test, pre-
ferably administered by a psychologist. In general, the
intelligence quotient of the child, if he is to be eligible
for admission to the classes for mentally retarded child-

ren, is expected to fall into the range 50 733 Varia-
tions both above and below this figure are considered when
extenuating circumstances so provoke the person making the
individual psychological study and that person can justify

the admission in light of these circumstances. All child-
ren enrolled in these classes shall have submitted to a

32State Board Regulations relating to Education of
Exceptional Children, Adopted July 3, 1947.
33State Department of Education, Bulletin Number
55, Colin English, Superintendent, 1948, p. 95.


complete physical examination by a licensed medical phy-
sician. The county supervisor shall pass on each child's
record (which contains the recommendations of the princi-
pal of the school where the child attends, the record of
achievement and test scores, physical report and wherever
possible, a full report of the psychologist). Upon him
rests the final recommendation.

The number of Negro children profiting from the
county program for mentally retarded children has been
undeniably small and inadequate in light of the total
Negro population of the State of Florida. (However, this
condition is true, though to a lesser degree, with the
white population).

A curve of intelligence distribution in a general
population, shows that 4% of the population has intelli-
gence quotients less than 50, and that 9% of the popula-
tion has intelligence quotients less than 75, thus 5% of
the individuals lie between the limits of 50 75 I.Q.34

According to the 1950 census, Florida had a population of

34unn, Norman L., Psychology, 1951, Houghton-
Mifflin Company, New York, pp. 493-95.


2,771,305. Of this total population 840,870 are Negroes.35
Assuming then that 5% of this population falls in the
I.Q. range 50 75 (and this estimate could be moved up-
ward, as the intelligence levels of Negroes is purportedly
below that of the general population due to environmental
and economic conditions), then there are 42,043 mentally
deficient Negroes in the State of Florida, of which it is
estimated that 8200 lie between the age intervals of 6 and

The provisions for teaching Negro mentally retarded
children as mentioned, i.e., between the ages of 6 and 21,
with I.Q.'s in the range 50 75, are woefully inadequate,
but considerable progress is being made in the direction
of providing more and better facilities for them. A break-
down of the number of Negro mentally retarded children
provided for is shown by counties in the table below. In-
formation was not available to break these figures down

further into sex and intelligence range.

35Loc. Cit.

3 Office of Program for Exceptional Children,
Courtesy of Mr. Bob Gates.














Palm Beach



























From the table it is seen that a steady increase

in the number of mentally retarded Negro children which

have been provided for in special classes has been evi-

denced to an extent of almost 300%. In the period 1950-51,

only 120 cases were considered by the state, 127 in

1951-52, and 351 in 1952-53 (this 351 is exclusive of the

number provided for at the State Farm Colony).

Since the Farm Colony is primarily concerned with

custodial type patients (upwards of 50 per cent being

classified as idiots in 1950), and since its facilities

are sorely taxed in taking care of those which fall into

this category, other provisions outside of Gainesville

have to be considered for proper treatment, care, and pos-

sible rehabilitation of mentally deficient Negro students.

As discussed earlier, a part of this is carried on in

county units, but these units have treated in the past

year only 351 cases of mentally retarded Negro patients.

In view of the fact that there are an estimated 8200

patients falling into both these categories, and the bulk

of these are, to a degree trainable, it is not necessary

to institutionalize the larger part of them.

The State Board of Education refers to the group
not needing to be institutionalized as the slow-learrnng

child and defines him as follows:

"The slow-learning child, is defined as one whose
rate of learning is too slow to enable him to
make progress in the existing school program and
who, therefore, needs the services of a special
education program. The State Board Regulations
read, 'A slow-learning child is defined as an
educable child or youth who because of intellect-
ual retardation is unable to be adequately
educated in the public schools without provision
of special educational facilities and services. .

Each child must be recommended by a psychologist
for entry in a unit for children who learn
slowly. The intelligence quotient of children
will range approximately from 50 to 75 I.Q. The
recommendations for entry will be based upon a
complete study of31ll factors, physical, social,
and educational."'

In order to meet the exigency of caring for the

slow student, Units have been set up throughout the state

in the different counties. There are two levels: primary,

for students 7 to 11 years old, and intermediate, for

students 12 to 14 years old. Since the state provides

education for its residents to the age of 21, pupils above

14 are registered at the secondary level, although it has

been found that they are usually ready for occupational

placement between the years of 16 and 18.38 Particularly

in Dade, Duval, Hillsborough and Monroe counties, money

has been appropriated for the rooms, equipment and supplies

for the slow-learning Negro student. In these counties

there are well-ventilated rooms (equally as attractive as

those for other students), and adequate closet and shelf

space. Particular care is given to teach the slow-learner

--iml mmm m
37State Department of Education, Bulletin Number
55, Colin English, Superintendent, 1948, p. 95.
Ibid., p. 98.



a trade, as a means of making him serviceable to his
community. Among the trades being taught to the slow-
learner are: cooking, house-cleaning, poultry keeping,
cafeteria, restaurant and hospital aid work. The aca-
demic skills taught are enough to give the student a
feeling of adequacy in certain minimum skills: Reading
for comprehension to gain information, to solve problems
and for pleasure; language for ease in oral communica-
tion, intelligible speech for daily life situations,
occupational needs, legible penmanship, letter writing,
and so on.39
Teachers trained in teaching the mentally retarded

student are provided for Negroes in the following counties:
Bay (1), Bradford (1), Calhoun (1), Dade (3), Duval (4),
Highlands (1), Hillsborough (3), Leon (1), Manatee (1),
Marion (1), Pinellas (1).0 It is singular to note that
such large counties as Palm Beach, population 114,688,
Escambia, 112,706, Orange, 114,950, Polk, 123,997, and
Volusia, 74,229, have little or no provisions for the

39Office of Coordinator of State Institutions,
Courtesy of Mr. Terry Lee.
4Directory of Personnel Serving in Florida's Pro-
gram for Exceptional Children.


mentally retarded Negro child. This singularity cannot

be attributed to a large rural population, as there are
large urban areas in each of them, and the State of
Florida is 56.5% urbanized.41

Table III


Palm Beach


Urban areas of 25,000 population or

West Palm Beach 43,162

Pensacola 43,479
Orlando 72,572
Lakeland 30,851

Daytona Beach 30,18742

The steady increase in the provisions for Negro
mentally retarded children is not only evidenced in the
county, but for the first time the doors of the State

Farm Colony have been opened to Negroes. In 1953 provi-
sions were made there for 1000 additional patients, and

four wards have been built to accommodate 150 Negro
patients. Although the number of Negro patients in

'1Hammond's World Atlas, Garden City Books, 1941,
New york, p. 98*
2Ibid., p. 106.


relation to whites seems pitiably small, the admittance

is indicative in light of the Sixteenth Biennial Report

of the Florida Farm Colony on general information, which


"The Florida Farm Colony is a State Institution
situated at Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida.
Only white mentally deficient and epileptic
persons who are legal residents of the State of
Florida, and between the ages of six and twenty-
one years, are admitted. There are no facilities
for the care of colored patients. Individuals
who have communicable diseases, are psychotic
(insane) or pregnant are not admissible.
The purpose of the institution is to offer
such training, education and supervised employment
as existing circumstances and mental condition
of patients will permit and give proper care,
protection segregation, and medical care to all

The report, dated 1951, from which the above quota-

tion was taken, also included cognizance of the fact that

certainly provisions should be made for Negro patients.

This was embodied in that part of the recommendations which


"Based on generally accepted figures, with the
population of Florida now approaching 3,000,000
persons, it is estimated that between 2,500 and
3,000 of these possibly should require the ser-
vices of this type of institution. This estimate,
of course, includes all ages and races.

43Sixteenth Biennial Report of the Superintendent
of the State Farm Colony for Epileptics and Mentally Defi-
cient Children, 1948, Gainesville, Florida, p. 5.

The cases definitely known to the institution
are those whom formal applications have
actually been filed. These are all white per-
sons and fall within the age limits 6 to 21 as
set by the Board. At the present time active
applications number slightly more than 200.
The rate at which new applications are being
received is about 100 per year. Again this
refers to white only. There are no facilities
for the Negro mentally deficient or epileptic.
In order to meet the anticipated minimum
demands for the next two years the following pro-
posed construction program has been submitted
through the Florida State Improvement Commission
for consideration:
1. Ward buildings, 8 @ $10,000 $560,000.00
2. Employees residences, 6 @
$10,000 60,000.00
3. Employees dormitories for
single male and female em-
ployees (30 rooms each)
2 @ $90,000 180,000.00
4. Apartments for married em-
ployees (12 units) 120,000.00
5. Utilities, including extension
of steam electric, water and
sewer lines to proposed new
buildings also additions to
and rehabilitation of exist-
ing facilities 590,755.00
6. School and Gymnasium building 240,000.00
7. Enclosed walkway between hos-
pital and clinic building 2,000.00
8. Additional walkways and rehabi-
litation of existing walkways 10,000.00
9. Negro unit 400,000.00 0
$2,162,-755.00" "
Although the proposal as outlined above was not
immediately acted on, legislation was passed in early 1953

44Ibid*) pe 14*


which included, as concerns the Negro patient, the fol-

lowing items and expenditures.
Ward buildings for 150 patients $195,000
Dining Hall and kitchen 163,000
Utilities 41. 000_L5

According to Mr. Terry Lee, Coordinator of State
Institutions, until recently, The Florida State Farm

Colony was just a custodial institution. Although certain
minimum facilities were provided for the white patients
interned there, such as medical department, dental depart-
ment, patient activities, including an academic school

(first four grades), Sunday School, musical programs

sponsored by the Red Cross, weekly motion pictures, these
facilities were grossly inadequate to do a job of rehabi-

litation. It was not until the winter of 1950 that a

planned program of recreation was recognized.
Since the improvement and enlargement of the Florida

State Farm Colony, a real rehabilitation program has been
initiated. There now exists for both the white and Negro

patient physical therapy, trade programs, radio facilities,
and a school program. The internees' energies are now

directed into a vein more conducive to rehabilitation than
at any time in the history of this institution. It is


expected that there will be an increase in the percentage
of rehabilitated individuals, but the total number rehabi-

litated, due particularly to their levels of intelligence.

is expected to remain small.

Even with the new units which have only recently

been opened, the state does not feel that the provisions

are adequate for taking care of the mentally deficient

residents between the ages of 6 and 21. During the pre-

sent biennium, new facilities are in the blue print stage

and $500,000 has been appropriated to supplement the build-

ing program. This building program includes 5 additional

wards for white patients, and 4 additional wards for Negro

patients, these 4 additional wards having a housing

capacity of 100 patients.

Thus far in this paper, the problem of proper faci-
lities for mentally retarded Negro patients has been

discussed, and circumscribed to those falling within the

age limits of 6 and 21. However, there are a great many

children under age 6 who are in dire need of special

training, custody, and general supervision. The state

recently has shown awareness to this fact, by initiating

plans for a nursery building at the Florida State Farm

Colony. In addition to this nursery building, there would

be a school building, and gymnasium. This project would

house 100 mentally retarded children between the ages of

1 and 6.45 This consideration is not a new one, for as

much as five years ago, Thomas D. Bailey, erstwhile State

Superintendent of public Instruction, realized that child-

ren between the ages of 1 and 6 presented a real problem,

and one that the state should consider and deal with. In

his report to the Board of Commissioners of State Insti-

tutions, he stated:

"The trend in recent years has brought about
an increased demand for admission of the cus-
todial type patient and less demand with
reference to the trainable type. Pressure is
also mounting for a lowering of the minimum
admission age limit to permit acceptance of
four and five year olds. From our information
these trends are not peculiar to Florida, but
are being observed generally throughout the

Florida has taken heed to the suggestion made by

Mr. Bailey and has increased its provisions for the men-

tally deficient custodial type, but the progress which

must be made in servicing the educable type needs strong

stimulus. In view of the estimated 8200 mentally re-

tarded Negro students needing treatment, Florida still is

Office of the Coordinator of State Institutions,
Courtesy of Mr. Terry Lee.


behind states of comparable population, such as Iowa,
Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. Yet, for
the southern area, considering states with comparable
population, Florida presents a better program than Alabama,
Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

Table IV
Total Expenditures for
State Population Mental Defectives 1952
Alabama 3,061,743 $1,605,320.00

Florida 2,771,305 1,823,260.00
Iowa 2,621,074 2,918,334.25
Kentucky 2,944,806 2,231,005.77
Maryland 2,343,001 2,289,913.00
Minnesota 2,982,483 3,215,015.55
Mississippi 2,178,914 973,815.00
Oklahoma 2,233,351 295,289.91
Washington 2,378,963 1,808,366.00
(No separate figures were available for the separate amounts
spent on Negro patients. In the states of Iowa, Maryland,
Minnesota, and Washington, there are no separate facilities
for Negro mentally retarded children).47

47Huffman, Gladys Y., Social Workers' Guide and
Index, Prentice-Hall, New York, 1953, pp. 104-106, 109-11.


Summary. In the preceding chapter, several
factors pointed up the fact that the State of Florida,

realizing insufficient facilities for its mentally defi-

cient children, has directed its interest, toward an

expansion of its present facilities; especially at Gaines-
ville, Florida, provisions have, for the first time in

the history of the state of Florida, been made for the

mentally retarded Negro child between the ages of 6 and 21.

Inasmuch as it appears physically impossible that

all the cases of mentally retarded Negro children can, at

any time in the foreseeable future, be taken care of at

The State Farm Colony, the bulk of the work for these ex-
ceptional children must rest within the county; this is

definitely true in the case of the educable child. The

educable child (1) tends less to social maladjustment (2)

tends less to criminality, (3) and his energies can be
directed into a channel such that he can effectively serve

his community. Although, according to Louttit, there is

a positive correlation between mental defectiveness and

both immorality and delinquency, if the child is educable,

he can learn and recognize the responsibility for con-

sequences of his acts, and will be, to a measurable degree,

governed thereby. This being the case, except in ex-

tenuating circumstances, a child having an I.Q. greater

than 65 should be trained in the community by special

teachers for the exceptional child.
In the light of the fact, that no over-all testing

program exists in the State of Florida, and the later in

life the mentally deficient child is recognized, the more

serious the case becomes, the writer recommends a general

testing program, state-wide, to be instituted in the

elementary grade program, and to be administered at the

level of the first grade. This program would permit a

detection of mental detectives at an early stage, and ad-

Justments could be made which would allow the child to

proceed according to his capacities and maximize the use
of those capacities. The slow-learner, especially in

the leementary grades, becomes the butt of his classmates'

jokes about his stupidity, is singled out for ridicule,

and here, more than elsewhere, the seeds for a socially
maladjusted individual are planted. If a standardized

intelligence test showed mental defectiveness in the child,

an immediate attempt at analysis of this defect should

follow. This analysis should include: (1) determination

as to whether defect is endogenous or exogenous, (2)

if the defect is of exogenous origin to take the neces-

sary steps to ameliorate the condition, i.e. by change

of environment, etc., (3) if the defect is endogenous,

to determine whether it is generic or pathological.

Following this analysis, if the attending psychologists

determine that the child is educable, then he should be

placed in a special group of children with comparable

ability, and be taught those elements of formal training

which fall within the realm of his comprehension. If

the defect is pathological, and can be mitigated by

medical treatment, such as the administering of drugs,

this should, through analysis, be determined and provi-

sions made therefore.

Generally throughout the counties of Florida where

provisions are made for the care of the mentally retarded

Negro child, the facilities are poor and not conducive to

rehabilitation or to making an effective community instru-

ment of the child. The proportion of Negro teachers for

the purpose of the training these children is far off the

proportion of the number of Negro children needing the

treatment in relation to the number of white. There are

90 teachers for mentally retarded white children in the


counties of the State of Florida, whereas there are only

20 such teachers provided for the training of Negro child-

ren. The writer recommends that this disparity be

recognized and that provisions be made for a more repre-

sentative number of such teachers. These disparities are

manifest in the following counties, with the ratio of the

writer's recommendation for additional Negro teachers

based on population trends and figures.

Table V













Teachers for Mentally Retarded
White Negro

5 1
2 1

2* 0

1 0

1 0
20 o

3* 0

1 0

1 0

1 0
4 1









Table V Continued




Palm Beach



Teachers for







Mentally Retarded












Those counties which do not appear in Table IV have
provisions for neither white nor Negro mentally retarded
children. Where an asterisk appears beside the number of

teachers for white in a county, the writer feels that the
county is grossly lacking, according to its over-all

47Directory of Personnel Serving in Florida's Pro-
gram for Exceptional Children.


population, insufficient white, as well as Negro,
teachers. It is especially recommended that Escambia,
Leon, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Volusia counties
initiate a more thorough program for the treatment and
care of mentally retarded children of both races.
According to the suggested increase of 83 teachers in
24 counties for Negro mentally retarded children, and
in light of the indicated increase for white teachers in

9 populous counties, the total number of teachers
suggested to carry out a really beneficial program for
the mentally retarded child would be 194 teachers for
white students (additional white teachers as follows:
Broward 5, Escambia 7, Leon 5, Marion 3, Orange -

7, Palm Beach 8, Pinellas 11, Polk 4, and Volusia -
10) and 146 teachers for Negroes, making a grand total

of 340. This grand total of 254 teachers is an increase
of 306% over the present 111 teachers so employed.
It is interesting to note that of the 67 counties
in Florida, only 24 of them have any provisions for
mentally retarded children. Definite steps should be
taken to initiate a program for the care and schooling
of these children, even if the allotment of teachers is
only one to a county.


The county training of mentally deficient child-
ren has been largely academic in nature, i.e. the con-

cepts of reading, writing, elementary arithmetic,

spelling and language consciousness. More effort should
be directed in the area of occupational preparations for

carrying out such a program, and outside of Dade, Duval

and Hillsborough counties, nothing much is being done in

this vein.

The writer feels that a standardized program

should be handled through the State Board of Education,

Program for Exceptional Children. This would normalize

the progress being made, and be indicative of the type
and degree of proficiency manifested in the school program.

The Florida State Farm Colony at Gainesville,
Florida is now in the process of expanding its physical

plant and enriching its academic, occupational, and
recreational facilities. As was stated in Chapter III,

no provisions at all were made for Negroes at this insti-

tution until July, 1953. The facilities for caring for

Negro mentally deficient children, even with the admis-

sion of 150 patients at Gainesville are grossly inade-

quate. On the basis that there are 8200 Negro children

in Florida with sub-normal intelligence, and granting

that 6700 of these are educable, 1500 should have cus-
todial care and should be institutionalized. Inasmuch as

only 10% of these can be taken care of at Gainesville,

and inasmuch as there has been no real attempt on the

part of educators to determine mental deficiency at an
early stage, and as a consequence many cases of high

mental deficiency go undetermined until puberty. The

following recommendations are made:

1. That a standardized system of tests be
administered on the first grade level,

such system of test to include (a)

verbal and non-verbal standardized in-

telligence tests, (b) emotional stability

tests, and (c) if subnormalities are

indicated by (a) and (b), a thorough case
study be made to determine the nature of

the affection of the child.

2. That as a result of (1), any child upon

being examined and found mentally defi-

cient, be placed, if he is educable, in a

homogeneous class where there are people

of comparative intelligence. If the child


is not educable, that immediate provision.

be made at a custodial institution, so

that if any rehabilitation is possible,

such rehabilitation can begin at once.

3. That, provided the preceding recommendations

are carried out, that physical plants be

erected for the training of the educable

child in the county of his residence, and

that said institutions be financed as in

the public school system, i.e. county funds,
supplemented with state funds.

4. That, as mentioned earlier in Chapter IV,

that a normalized program be instituted for

the educable child, said program to issue

from the State Department of Education,

Program for the Exceptional Child. It is
further recommended that this program, for

all levels of mentally retarded children,

include such academic studies as fall within

the child's grasp, recreational facilities,

adequate medical and dental services, and

occupational therapy, and social rehabili-
tation measures.

*. That in the case of those children having
I.Q.'s less than 50, and found by exami-

nation of psychiatrists appointed by the

State Board of Education to need custody,

be placed in an institution such as the

State Farm Colony at Gainesville.

6. That because of the preceding recommenda-
tions that, of necessity, the Gainesville

location be increased to provide facilitates

for a minimum of 500 additional Negro

patients, and that another such institution

be opened in the state, such that the total

number of Negro mentally deficient children

between the ages of 1 and 6 years. This

provision would be, to the greater measure,

for children with extremely low I.Q.'s as

any method of detection for relatively high

mentally deficient cases would be too expen-

sive, even if jointly supported by the state

and county.

In conclusion, it would only be fair to state, that

the writer feels that the State of Florida has realized

its shortcomings as regards treatment of the mentally

F 60

retarded Negro child, and is making conscious effort to

ameliorate the situation. However, the trouble lies

mainly in the lack of provision. for determination of

cases of mental deficiency, for if such cases were found,
consequent pressures could be brought to bear, to cause

the tax-paying communities to support, if only in part,

an enriched and thorough program for the slow-learner,

the moron, and the very low cases of mental maturation.




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