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Book cover: Advances in Special Education

Advances in Special Education

ISSN: 0270-4013
Series editor(s): Dr. Festus E. Obiakor and Dr. Jeffrey P. Bakken

Subject Area: Education

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Chapter 3 History of early childhood special education

Document Information:
Title:Chapter 3 History of early childhood special education
Author(s):Sharon Doubet, Amanda C. Quesenberry
Volume:21 Editor(s): Anthony F. Rotatori, Festus E. Obiakor, Jeffrey P. Bakken ISBN: 978-0-85724-629-5 eISBN: 978-0-85724-630-1
Citation:Sharon Doubet, Amanda C. Quesenberry (2011), Chapter 3 History of early childhood special education, in Anthony F. Rotatori, Festus E. Obiakor, Jeffrey P. Bakken (ed.) History of Special Education (Advances in Special Education, Volume 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.47-60
DOI:10.1108/S0270-4013(2011)0000021006 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item

Early in the 20th century, many began to voice growing concern over such issues as infant mortality, childhood diseases, and child labor (Anastasiow & Nucci, 1994). At this time, physicians, child advocates, and the general public began to speak out about social concerns regarding children, including those living in orphanages and those with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. These concerns came about at a time when psychologists studying young children began to accept that a child's intelligence was impacted by both genetic and environmental factors (Hunt, 1961). Prior to this point, experts believed a child's IQ was set at birth with little that could be done to influence it over time. Although we were beginning to better understand the importance of environmental influences on young children, at this point, most children with disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy were institutionalized rather than treated. On the other hand, children who were deaf or blind were more likely to be treated, but were typically sent away to “schools” and were segregated from their families and peers while receiving treatment and education.

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