Encyclopedia of Special Education: A Reference for the Education of Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Disabilities and Other Exceptional Individuals / Edition 3

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Overview

The Third Edition of the highly acclaimed Encyclopedia of Special Education has been thoroughly updated to include the latest information about new legislation and guidelines. In addition, this comprehensive resource features school psychology, neuropsychology, reviews of new tests and curricula that have been developed since publication of the second edition in 1999, and new biographies of important figures in special education. Unique in focus, the Encyclopedia of Special Education, Third Edition addresses issues of importance ranging from theory to practice and is a critical reference for researchers as well as those working in the special education field.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This critical reference includes entries addressing the full gamut of special-education research.... This is a valuable resource for parents, professionals, and other laypeople with an interest in the education of youths with special needs..." (Library Journal, April 15, 2007)
Library Journal

Special education programs continue to expand rapidly, which makes the need for information on this topic greater than ever. This third edition has been thoroughly updated, particularly in the areas of legislation, guidelines, new tests, and curricula. Drawing on their backgrounds in psychology and experiences as authors and editors of books, journals, and psychological tests, editors Reynolds and Fletcher-Janzen collect thousands of A-to-Z articles (each is approximately one page long) by a vast array of specialists drawn mainly (but not exclusively) from the United States. Important issues covered range from theory to practice, from school psychology to neuropsychology, from biographies to teaching approaches. This critical reference includes entries addressing the full gamut of special-education research, albeit with an American orientation, a factor that may scare off readers not interested in a U.S. interpretation of these areas. The cross references are not always sufficient-readers may want to check out other entries on their own, even if not directed to do so. Bottom Line Despite the downsides, this is a valuable resource for parents, professionals, and other laypeople with an interest in the education of youths with special needs. However, unless there is a specific need for up-to-date print information, libraries might not find it as valuable as it might have been in the past, when online materials were not so readily available.
—Sara Marcus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471678021
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/2/2007
  • Edition description: 3 Volume Set
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 2016
  • Product dimensions: 8.88 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 4.88 (d)

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A AAAS
See AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.

Note: Some of the Figures and/or Tables mentioned in this sample chapter do not appear on the Web.

AAMD CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS

The American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) was founded in 1876 to support and promote the general welfare of people who are mentally retarded through professional programs, dissemination of research and program advances, and development of standards for services and facilities. The organization is comprised of approximately 10,000 professionals from many different disciplines who are concerned with the prevention and treatment of mental retardation. The association publishes two research journals, Mental Retardation and American Journal of Mental Deficiency. A national conference, along with many regional and state conferences, is held each year to give professionals the opportunity to share significant information regarding the education and welfare of children and adults with mental retardation.

The first diagnostic and classification system was published in 1921. It was reviewed and revised in 1933, 1941, 1957, 1959, 1973, 1977, and 1983. In each case, the manual was revised based on new developments in philosophy and knowledge of the field. To make the revisions and clarify important issues, input is culled from presentations at national and regional meetings of the AAMD, national and local hearings, and discussions with representatives of many professional, social, and political action groups. All revisions are made by the AAMD's Terminology and Classification Committee after a careful examination of the present classification system and the new data. Major revisions over the years have centered around the presentation of a dual classification system, medical and behavioral; clarification of the definitions of adaptive and measured intelligence; the addition of an extensive glossary; an illustration of levels of adaptive behavior; and procedures for diagnosing mental retardation in the behavioral system. With this last example, it is important that clinicians understand, in diagnosing mental retardation, the concept of standard error of measurement and its use in making a clinical determination of retardation and level of functioning.

The 1983 AAMD classification system developed by the AAMD's Terminology and Classification Committee has been written to reflect current thinking in the field. This latest edition has three distinct purposes. First, the 1983 edition was an attempt to provide an acceptable system to be used worldwide. It was developed in coordination with the International Classification of Diseases-9 (ICD-9) of the World Health Organization, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III (DSM-III), and the American Association on Mental Deficiency's Classification in Mental Retardation.

The second purpose was to improve opportunities to gather and disseminate information regarding diagnosis, treatment, and research activities. The third purpose of this classification system was to provide opportunities for the identification of causes of mental retardation with implications for prevention.

The definition of mental retardation accepted by most authorities is the one used by the American Association on Mental Deficiency. The definition was presented first by Heber in 1961 and later revised by Grossman in 1973 to read: "Mental retardation refers to significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning resulting in or associated with concurrent impairments in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period." Based on the definition, to be classified mentally retarded, the person must be below average in both measured intelligence and adaptive behavior.

The AAMD classification of the retarded has been useful to professionals as well because it is based on the severity of retardation. The terms used by the AAMD are mild, moderate, severe, and profound.

The AAMD causal classification scheme centers around nine general groupings for mental retardation. These groups include infections and intoxication, trauma or physical agent, metabolism or nutrition, gross brain disease, unknown prenatal influence, chromosomal anomalies, other conditions originating in the perinatal period following psychiatric disorder, and environmental influences.

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First Chapter

A AAAS
See AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.

Note: Some of the Figures and/or Tables mentioned in this sample chapter do not appear on the Web.

AAMD CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS

The American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) was founded in 1876 to support and promote the general welfare of people who are mentally retarded through professional programs, dissemination of research and program advances, and development of standards for services and facilities. The organization is comprised of approximately 10,000 professionals from many different disciplines who are concerned with the prevention and treatment of mental retardation. The association publishes two research journals, Mental Retardation and American Journal of Mental Deficiency. A national conference, along with many regional and state conferences, is held each year to give professionals the opportunity to share significant information regarding the education and welfare of children and adults with mental retardation.

The first diagnostic and classification system was published in 1921. It was reviewed and revised in 1933, 1941, 1957, 1959, 1973, 1977, and 1983. In each case, the manual was revised based on new developments in philosophy and knowledge of the field. To make the revisions and clarify important issues, input is culled from presentations at national and regional meetings of the AAMD, national and local hearings, and discussions with representatives of many professional, social, and political action groups. All revisions are made by the AAMD's Terminology and Classification Committee after a careful examination of the present classification system and the new data. Major revisions over the years have centered around the presentation of a dual classification system, medical and behavioral; clarification of the definitions of adaptive and measured intelligence; the addition of an extensive glossary; an illustration of levels of adaptive behavior; and procedures for diagnosing mental retardation in the behavioral system. With this last example, it is important that clinicians understand, in diagnosing mental retardation, the concept of standard error of measurement and its use in making a clinical determination of retardation and level of functioning.

The 1983 AAMD classification system developed by the AAMD's Terminology and Classification Committee has been written to reflect current thinking in the field. This latest edition has three distinct purposes. First, the 1983 edition was an attempt to provide an acceptable system to be used worldwide. It was developed in coordination with the International Classification of Diseases-9 (ICD-9) of the World Health Organization, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III (DSM-III), and the American Association on Mental Deficiency's Classification in Mental Retardation.

The second purpose was to improve opportunities to gather and disseminate information regarding diagnosis, treatment, and research activities. The third purpose of this classification system was to provide opportunities for the identification of causes of mental retardation with implications for prevention.

The definition of mental retardation accepted by most authorities is the one used by the American Association on Mental Deficiency. The definition was presented first by Heber in 1961 and later revised by Grossman in 1973 to read: "Mental retardation refers to significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning resulting in or associated with concurrent impairments in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period." Based on the definition, to be classified mentally retarded, the person must be below average in both measured intelligence and adaptive behavior.

The AAMD classification of the retarded has been useful to professionals as well because it is based on the severity of retardation. The terms used by the AAMD are mild, moderate, severe, and profound.

The AAMD causal classification scheme centers around nine general groupings for mental retardation. These groups include infections and intoxication, trauma or physical agent, metabolism or nutrition, gross brain disease, unknown prenatal influence, chromosomal anomalies, other conditions originating in the perinatal period following psychiatric disorder, and environmental influences.

REFERENCES
Grossman, H. (Ed.). (1983). Classification in mental retardation.
Washington, DC: American Association on Mental Deficiency.
CECELIA STEPPE-JONES
North Carolina Central University

AAMD ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR SCALES MENTAL RETARDATION

AAMR ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR SCALES- RESIDENTIAL AND COMMUNITY:

The AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scales- Residential and Community: Second Edition (ABS- RC: 2) (Nihira, Leland, & Lambert, 1993) is the revision of the 1969 and 1974 AAMD Adaptive Behavior Scales. The latest version of the adaptive behavior scales is the product of a comprehensive review of the earlier versions of the rating scales relating to persons with mental retardation in the United States and other countries. The items of the ABS- RC: 2 have undergone numerous modifications since the 1969 edition as a result of intensive item analyses over time, with different group results varying with respect to adaptive behavior levels. The scale items that survived this process were selected on the bases of their inter-rater reliability and their effectiveness in discriminating (a) among institutionalized persons with mental retardation and those in community settings who previously had been classified at different adaptive behavior levels according to the AAMD's Classification in Mental Retardation (Grossman, 1983) and (b) among adaptive behavior levels in public school populations. This scale is appropriate for individuals from ages 18 through 80.

Domain raw scores are converted to standard scores (M = 10, SD = 3) and percentiles. Factor raw scores are used to generate quotients (M = 100, SD = 15) and percentiles. The scale's normative sample consists of more than 4,000 persons from 43 states with developmental disabilities residing in the community or in residential settings. The test has been extensively examined regarding reliability and validity, and the evidence supporting the scale's technical adequacy is provided in the manual. Internal consistency reliabilities and stability for all scores exceed .8.

This scale was reviewed in The Thirteenth Mental Measurements Yearbook (Impara & Plake, 1998) by Carey (1998) and Harrison (1998). Carey stated that the scale is technically adequate for this type of assessment; Harrison reported that the ABS- RC: 2 has many features that enhance the assessment of adults with developmental disabilities.

REFERENCES

Carey, K. T. (1998). Review of the AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scale- Residential and Community, Second Edition. In J. C. Impara & B. S. Plake (Eds.), The thirteenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 3- 5). Lincoln: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, University of Nebraska Press.

Grossman, H. J. (Ed.). (1983). Classification in mental retardation. Washington, DC.: American Association on Mental Deficiency (now Retardation).

Harrison, P. L. (1998). Review of the AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scale- Residential and Community, Second Edition. In J. C. Impara & B. S. Plake (Eds.), The thirteenth mental measurements yearbook. Lincoln: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, University of Nebraska Press.

Impara, J. C., & Plake B. S. (Eds.). (1998). The thirteenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 1- 3). Lincoln: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, University of Nebraska Press.

Nihira, K., Leland, H., & Lambert, N. (1993). AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scales- Residential and Community: Second Edition. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

TADDY MADDOX
Associate Director of Research, PRO-ED, Inc.


The AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scales- School: Second Edition (ABS- S: 2) (Lambert, Nihira, & Leland, 1993) is used for assessing the current adaptive functioning of children being evaluated for evidence of mental retardation, for evaluating adaptive behavior characteristics of children with autism, and for differentiating children with behavior disorders who require special education assistance. The scale is appropriate for children ages 3 years to 18 years 11 months.

This revision is divided into two parts. Part One focuses on personal independence; it is designed to evaluate coping skills considered important to independence and responsibility in daily living. The skills within Part One are grouped into nine behavior domains: Independent Functioning, Physical Development, Economic Activity, Language Development, Numbers and Time, Prevocational/ Vocational Activity, Self-Direction, Responsibility, and Socialization. Part Two measures socially maladaptive behaviors. The behaviors assessed were identified through a survey of the social expectations placed upon persons with mental retardation in public and special schools, public and private residential institutions, and a wide range of local rehabilitative and recreational services. The descriptions of those expectations were obtained from an analysis of a large number of critical incident reports provided by personnel in residential, community, and school settings. The behaviors in Part Two are assigned to seven domains, which are measures of those adaptive behaviors that relate to the manifestation of personality and behavior disorders: Social Behavior, Conformity, Trustworthiness, Stereo-typed and Hyperactive Behavior, Self-Abusive Behavior, Social Engagement, and Disturbing Interpersonal Behavior. The domains in Part One and Part Two are combined into five factors: Personal Self-Sufficiency, Community Self-Sufficiency, Personal-Social Responsibility, Social Adjustment, and Personal Adjustment.

Domain raw scores are converted to standard scores (M = 10, SD = 3) and percentiles. Factor raw scores are used to generate quotients (M = 100, SD = 15) and percentiles. The scale's normative sample consists of more than 2,000 persons from 31 states with developmental disabilities attending public schools and more than 1,000 students who have no disabilities. The test has been examined extensively regarding reliability and validity. Internal consistency reliabilities and stability for all scores exceed .8.

In The Thirteenth Mental Measurements Yearbook, Stinnett (1998) reviewed the instrument and concluded that the scale's psychometric qualities are good; Harrington (1998) stated that the ABS- S: 2 makes a contribution to the area of adaptive behavior assessment. Both reviewers felt the test was improved from previous editions.

REFERENCES

Harrington, R. G. (1998). Review of the AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scale- School, Second Edition. In J. C. Impara & B. S. Plake (Eds.), The thirteenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 5- 9). Lincoln: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, University of Nebraska Press.

Lambert, N., Nihira, K., & Leland, H. (1993). AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scales- School: Second Edition. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Stinnett, T. A. (1998). Review of the AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scale- School, Second Edition. In J. C. Impara & B. S. Plake (Eds.), The thirteenth mental measurements yearbook (pp. 9- 14). Lincoln: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, University of Nebraska Press.

TADDY MADDOX
Associate Director of Research, Pro-Ed, Inc.

AAMD CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR

ABAB DESIGN

The ABAB design is one of the oldest and most widely used single-case designs developed in behavioral psychology. It was initially used in laboratory studies with animals (Sidman, 1960); however, as the applied behavior analysis movement got under way (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968), it became a prototype for applied behavioral investigations conducted in the natural environment. Although the number of single-case designs has increased markedly since the early days of applied behavior analysis (e. g., Kazdin, 1980; Kratochwill, 1978), the ABAB design still occupies a prominent place in applied behavioral research. Moreover, because of the high degree of experimental control that it provides, it has been widely used with individuals manifesting various types of handicaps (Bergan, 1977). For example, the ABAB design has been particularly useful in studying environmental variables affecting language acquisition in retarded children (Bergan, 1977).

The ABAB design is intended to reveal a functional relationship between an experimental treatment and a behavior targeted for change. For example, it might be used to establish a functional relationship between the use of the plural form of a noun and a treatment such as praise following the occurrence of a plural noun. The demonstration of a functional relationship between praise and plural nouns would require an association between the frequency of plural-noun production and the occurrence of verbal praise. Given that a functional relationship were established, verbal praise could be assumed to function as a positive reinforcer increasing the probability of occurrence of plural nouns by the subject or subjects participating in the experiment.

The ABAB technique has often been referred to as a single- case design (e. g., Kratochwill, 1978). However, it may be applied with more than one subject. Thus, the term single case is a bit misleading. Glass, Wilson, and Gottman (1975) among others called attention to the fact that the ABAB design is a time-series design in that it reflects an effort to determine changes in behavior occurring across a series of points in time. Recognition of the ABAB design as a time-series design opened the way for linking the design to the statistical procedures associated with time-series analysis (see, for example, Glass, Wilson, & Gottman, 1975). Application of time-series analysis procedures affords a statistical test for hypotheses that may be investigated with the ABAB design. However, despite this advantage, time-series techniques have not been widely used in applied investigations involving the ABAB design. There are a variety of reasons for this. Among them is the fact that the graphing techniques suggested by behavioral psychologists (e. g., Parsonson & Baer, 1978) as an alternative to statistical analysis are easier to implement and to interpret than time-series statistics. Nonetheless, timeseries procedures constitute a potentially powerful tool for applied behavioral research and their use can be expected to increase in the future.

As the letters in its name suggest, the ABAB design includes four phases. The initial A phase is a baseline period that records behavior across a series of points in time in the absence of intervention. The length of the baseline period varies depending on the variability of the behavior being recorded. If the behavior is highly variable, a longer baseline is required than if the behavior is highly stable. More data are required to get a sense of the fluctuations that may be expected without intervention for a highly variable behavior than for a highly stable behavior. The second phase, denoted by the letter B, is a treatment phase. During this phase the treatment is introduced. The treatment may be implemented in accordance with a variety of different schedules. For example, treatment may be implemented with every occurrence of the target behavior. For instance, praise might be given following every occurrence of a plural noun. On the other hand, treatment might be implemented in accordance with one of the many available partial reinforcement schedules. Thus, praise might be given after every third occurrence of a plural noun. The third phase, also denoted by the letter A, constitutes a return to baseline. The return to baseline may be brought about by various means. One is to withdraw the treatment. For instance, praise might not be given following plural-noun utterances during the return-to-baseline phase. Another procedure is to introduce another treatment intended to bring the target behavior back to baseline level. For example, reinforcement of a behavior that is incompatible with the target behavior may be introduced during the return-to-baseline phase. The final phase in the ABAB design, denoted by the second occurrence of the letter B, is a second implementation of the treatment. The second implementation is intended to demonstrate treatment control over the target behavior by minimizing the possibility that environmental influences occurring coincidentally with the treatment could be responsible for the observed behavior change.

The major advantage of the ABAB design lies in the fact that it minimizes the likelihood of coincidental environmental influences on the target behavior. There are two potential disadvantages to the approach (Kazdin, 1973). One is that some behaviors are not easily reversed. For example, a skill that has been well-learned may not be easy to unlearn. The second disadvantage is that there are cases in which it may not be practical to carry out a return-to- baseline even if it is possible to do so. For instance, a teacher may not want to return a child's performance of an academic skill to baseline even for a short period of time. Despite these shortcomings, the ABAB design has been shown to be useful in establishing a functional relationship between a treatment and behavior in countless applications. It is truly a mainstay in applied behavioral research and will continue to be used widely.

REFERENCES

Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 8, 387- 398.

Bergan, J. R. (1977). Behavioral consultation. Columbus, OH: Merrill.

Glass, G. V., Wilson, V. L., & Gottman, J. M. (1975). Design and analysis of time-series experiments. Boulder: Colorado Associated University Press.

Kazdin, A. E. (1973). Methodological and assessment considerations in evaluating reinforcement programs in applied settings. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 6, 517- 531.

Kazdin, A. E. (1980). Research design in clinical psychology. New York: Harper & Row.

Kratochwill, T. R. (1978). Single-subject research: Strategies for evaluating change. New York: Academic.

Parsonson, B. S., & Baer, D. M. (1978). The analysis and presentation of graphic data. In T. R. Kratochwill (Ed.), Single-subject research: Strategies for evaluating change. New York: Academic.

Sidman, M. (1960). Tactics of scientific research. New York: Basic.

JOHN R. BERGAN
University of Arizona

RESEARCH IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

ABECEDARIAN PROJECT

For the past quarter century, American education has been especially concerned with the academic performance of children from disadvantaged families. This special concern stems from the well-established fact that this group of children typically performs well below average on stastandardizedests of academic achievement. They also are overrepresented in special education classes. The root causes of this poor performance are not well understood but their consequences are costly, in terms both of economics and psychological dysfunction. Such consequences have frequently been called developmental retardation.

To ameliorate these costly consequences, a wide variety of special education programs have been investigated under the rubric of compensatory education. Most of these programs have concentrated on the so-called preschool and/ or early elementary school years. The primary hypothesis has been that educational experiences that augaugmentnd/ or supplement the educational experiences of the home will better prepare disadvantaged children for academic accomplishment in the public schools. The Abecedarian project has been such an experiment. Abecedarian means one learning the rudiments of something (the alphabet).

The specific aims of the Abecedarian project have been:

  • To determine whether developmental retardation and school failure can be prevented in children from socially and economically high-risk families by means of educational day care.
  • To determine whether a follow-through program for early elementary school is necessary to maintain preschool intellectual gains in high-risk children.
  • To determine whether school-age intervention alone can significantly improve academic and/ or intellectual performance in children who did not have pre-school intervention.

To identify a sample of families at high risk for having a developmentally retarded child, a high-risk screening index (Ramey & Smith, 1977) was developed. This index included social, environmental, and psychological factors judged on the basis of the developmental literature to be associated with poor intellectual and scholastic progress. Each factor was assigned a weight based on professional consensus as to its likely importance in determining intellectual and scholastic outcomes. Thirteen factors were included; among them were paternal and maternal education; family income; father's absence; retardation among other family members; family disorganization; maladaptive or antisocial behavior within the family; and unstable job history.

Based on the high-risk index, families were judged to be at elevated risk and eligible for inclusion in the study. Characteristics of the 109 families (111 children) eventually enrolled in the study are given in the following Table. As may be seen in the Table, the families in the sample were predominantly black (98%), were headed by a single female (72%) who was young (20 years) and who had less than a high school education (10.23 years).

It is a special feature of the Abecedarian project that participants were assigned to the preschool experimental educational treatment or control condition at random. Fifty-seven children were randomly assigned to the pre-school experimental group, 54 were preschool controls. Ninety-six children remained in the study to be randomly assigned to a school-age treatment group. At public school entry, Abecedarian children within the two preschool groups were rank-ordered according to 48- month Stanford-Binet IQ's; each consecutive pair was randomly assigned to the school-age experimental or control groups. All families accepted their school-age assignment, but three children assigned to the preschool control-school- age experimental condition (CE) moved away and did not participate in the school-age phase.

Figure 1 gives the overall design of the Abecedarian study, including the preschool and school-age treatment programs and the number of children randomly assigned to each condition. The Abecedarian study can be conceptualized as a 2 ´ 2 factorial design. The factors are preschool educational treatment versus no preschool treatment and school-age educational treatment versus no school-age treatment. Thus, there were two preschool groups, the experimental (E) and control (C) groups, and four school-age conditions: preschool experimental school-age experimental (EE); preschool experimental school-age control (EC); preschool control school-age experimental (CE); and pre-school control school-age control (CC). These groups varied in the intensity (defined as number of years) of intervention: 8 years for the EE group; 5 years for the EC group; 3 years for the CE group; none for the CC group.

The preschool program may be characterized as a comprehensive, whole child program. The aim was to create a rich, stimulating, yet orderly environment in which the children could grow and learn. The curriculum was designed to enhance cognitive and linguistic development and to provide the children with many opportunities for successful mastery experiences. The curriculum materials included those for infants and preschoolers developed by Sparling and Lewis (1979). In addition, there was an enriched language environment that was responsive to the children's needs and interests (Ramey, et al., 1982). In many ways the program was not unlike other high-quality infant daycare and preschool programs. Child/ caregiver ratios ranged from 1: 3 for infants to 1: 6 for four year olds. Teachers typically had early childhood education experience and participated in an extensive inservice education program. The children's experiences became increasingly more structured over the preschool years, eventually coming to include prephonics programs and science and math experiences in addition to an emphasis on language and linguistic development. The presumption was that when the child left the preschool, he or she would be able to enter kindergarten without experiencing an abrupt transition.

Children attended the preschool program beginning between 6 weeks and 3 months of age. Children attended the daycare program 5 days per week, 50 weeks per year. The center was open from 7: 30 A. M. to 5: 15 P. M. Free transportation to and from the center was provided for families who needed it. Almost all of the children were transported by center staff. This portion of the program has been described in more detail by Ramey, MacPhee, and Yeates (1982).

The school-age intervention program began in kindergarten. It consisted of providing a home/ school resource teacher to each child and family in the two Abecedarian school-age experimental groups (EE and CE) shown in Figure 1. These teachers filled many roles: they were curriculum developers who prepared an individualized set of home activities to supplement the school's basic curriculum in reading and math; they taught parents how to use these activities with their children; they tutored children directly; they met regularly with classroom teachers to ensure that home activities matched the skills being taught in the classroom; they served as consultants for the classroom teacher when problems arose; and they advocated for the child and family within the school and community. Thus, they facilitated communication between teacher and parent, providing an important support for disadvantaged parents who frequently lacked the skills and confidence needed to advocate for their children within the school system, an institution seen by many as both monolithic and difficult to comprehend. Each home/ school resource teacher had a caseload of approximately 12 families per year. The home/ school resource teachers were experienced educators familiar with the local school system.

The supplemental curriculum delivered as home activities concentrated on two basic subjects: reading and math. These subjects were emphasized because it seemed likely that high-risk children might need extra reinforcement of these basic concepts to master and to remember them. The program sought to provide such reinforcement, presuming that scholastic performance would best be enhanced by direct teaching and practice of needed basic skills. The curriculum packets contained teaching activities that parents and children could share and enjoy. In addition, work sheets to give extra drill and practice were often included.

Home/ school teachers made approximately 17 school visits per year for each child. During these visits they met with the classroom teacher to identify the skills currently being taught and to learn which areas needed extra work or review. A variety of specialists within the system were contacted, including special education resource personnel, reading teachers, and school counselors. Efforts were made to coordinate the child's program and to make sure the best available resources were being used.

The home component of the program was equally intense. Home visits were made about 15 times each school year. Atypical visit lasted approximately 30 to 45 minutes, with the mother being the most likely participant. Teachers reviewed the classroom situation and showed the parent the materials in the activity packet, explaining the purpose and directions for each activity. The child was present and participated in about one-quarter of the home visits; this was often helpful because it allowed the teacher to demonstrate how an activity was to be carried out. Parents reported spending an average of 15 minutes a day working with their children on home activities. Parent response to the activities was very positive; very few re-ported that they failed to use the activities although direct verification was not possible.

Many forces other than intellectual ability and encouragement to learn can have an impact on a child's schscholasticerformance: emotional upset within the home, parental unemployment, the death of a family member, or instability of living arrangements, to name a few. Home/ school resource teachers sometimes helped families deal with personal crises. Extra home visits occurred if and when the home/ school teacher attempted to help the family solve such real-life problems. Home/ school teachers also helped to provide the children with a variety of summer experiences, including summer activity packets, summer camp, trips to the public library, and, for some children, a six-week tutorial in reading.

The results to be included here cover the intellectual and academic outcomes for Abecedarian children through the first 2 years in public school. Many other results are available, but these have been chosen because they represent the primary outcome hypotheses under investigation.

Figure 2 gives the IQ results for Abecedarian children from infancy through age 6 1 Ú2 years (78 months). In Figure 2, the mean IQs are graphed by preschool group up to the age of 60 months and by the four school-age groups thereafter. The scores are Bayley Mental Developmental Indices at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months, Binet IQs at 24, 36, and 48 months, and full-scale IQs on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence at 60 months and the Wech sler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised at 78 months.

The preschool intervention had a positive effect on intellectual development of the high-risk children in the ex-experimentalroup, as may be seen in Figure 2. Throughout the preschool period, at every testing occasion after 12 months, significant mean differences on standardized test scores were found between the two Abecedarian preschool groups (Ramey & Campbell, 1984). The primary form of this effect was to reduce the drop in mental test scores evidenced by the control group. It is now apparent that this preschool effect persists up through 78 months (Ramey & Campbell, in press). There is no evidence, however, that the school-age intervention significantly impacted children's intellectual performance during the first year and half of public school. No significant effect of the school-age program was found at 78 months. Thus regardless of school-age intervention status, the two groups who had preschool intervention maintained their relative superiority in tested intelligence over children who were preschool controls.

Figure 3 from Ramey and Campbell (in press) contains the kindergarten and first grade Peabody Individual Achievement Test results in terms of age-referenced percentile scores. Examination of this figure reveals that the preschool groups are near national average whereas the preschool control groups are below national average. Thus during the first 2 years in public school, positive preschool treatment effects on academic achievement were observed.

Figure 4 presents the percentage of children retained in either kindergarten or first grade for each of the four experimental conditions. One-eighth, or 12%, of the children in the EE group were retained in grade during the first 2 years of public school, compared with approximately one-third in the other three groups. Although it is very early in these children's public school careers, it is remarkable that the academic failure rate is so high in the groups that did not receive early and continuing supplemental education. The one-third grade retention rate is clearly costly and apparently reducible through intensive early education. Such a high retention rate also buttresses the initial judgment that these children were indeed at elevated risk for school failure.

Together, the data on IQs, academic achievement, and retention in grade suggest that preschool intervention exerts a positive influence on intelligence and school success in the first 2 years of public school. Preschool intervention supplemented by continued help in the early grades via a home/ school resource teacher program shows promise for being the most effective intervention. This intensity of effort apparently enabled the high-risk children in this sample to maintain a level of achievement near the national average. In addition, the likelihood of being retained in grade was less by a factor of approximately three for children who had early and continued educational intervention.

We are currently in the process of analyzing data for the final year of the school-age intervention. When those analyses are completed and we have systematically examined the family, school, and child factors associated with academic performance, we hope to have a better understanding of the forces that are associated with the academic performance of children from disadvantaged families and the ability of educational intervention to ameliorate those forces.

REFERENCES

Ramey, C. T., & Campbell, F. A. (1984). Preventive education for high-risk children: Cognitive consequences of the Carolina Abecedarian project [Special issue]. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 88( 5), 515- 523.

Ramey, C. T., & Campbell, F. A. (in press). The Carolina Abecedarian project: An educational experiment concerning human malleability. In J. J. Gallagher (Ed.), The malleability of children. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

Ramey, C. T., MacPhee, D., & Yeates, K. O. (1982). Preventing developmental retardation: A general systems model. In L. A. Bond & J. M. Joffe (Eds.), Facilitating infant and early childhood development (pp. 343- 401). Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Ramey, C. T., McGinness, G. D., Cross, L., Collier, A. M., & Barrie-Blackley, S. (1982). The Abecedarian approach to social competence: Cognitive and linguistic intervention for disadvantaged preschoolers. In K. Borman (Ed.), The social life of children in a changing society. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Ramey, C. T., & Smith, B. (1977). Assessing the intellectual consequences of early intervention with high-risk infants. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 81, 318- 324.

Sparling, J., & Lewis, I. (1979, February). Six learning games to play with your baby. Parents (pp. 35- 38).

CRAIG T. RAMEY
FRANCES A. CAMPBELL
DONNA M. BRYANT
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

HIGH RISK MENTAL RETARDATION

ABILITY TRAINING

Many educators believe that most academic and social learning is based on factors such as student aptitudes or abilities, instructional environment, and teaching methodology. While these three variables do not form a complete structure capable of containing all those factors contributing to learning, they certainly account for many of the variables educators would agree are important to success in school.

Learner aptitudes or abilities are those personological variables that frequently are called intelligence( s), traits, gifts, and characteristics. Frequently, educators will talk about a child's potential to learn, using the term ability as if it were a predetermined factor waiting to be drawn on at some point. The logic, then, is that if learning is a result of the presence and development of certain mental abilities, school failure (both academic and social) may be the result of disabilities, with disability implying an academic or social handicap.

If regular (elementary and secondary) educators teach to the abilities of students to learn, then special educators may direct more of their instruction to the disabilities that inhibit learning, hence the term and concept of ability training. How valid is this construct of ability training? A short response to that question is impossible. Any field involving relatively newly defined services to persons, especially children, in particular handicapped children, will generate professional controversy. Any field struggling with the pressures associated with economic, political, social, legislative, litigative, and basic human rights and values will face diversity. Any field that requires its many disciplines to unite in purpose will experience communicative stress. But, few professionals will purposely question their field's major methodology to the degree special and remedial educators have, for the period of time they have done so, and in the face of such a degree of controversy.

Some special educators believe avidly in ability training of all types; some reject it totally; but almost all, no matter what they believe, practice ability training. The truth in that observation is vividly displayed when we recognize that the value of ability training to handicapped persons has been questioned repeatedly for over the last 100 years. What then is in ability training that has caused the field of special education to tenaciously and steadfastly maintain its cause? Ability training is routed in the historic search for the structure and function of the mind. Educators, in particular special educators, have sought to diagnose specific abilities and provide remediation to those abilities, or disabilities as the case may be.

Mental ability (aptitude), concerns those components that are assumed to constitute the mind, and therefore explain learning. Mental-ability structures, in more scientific parlance, may be referred to as information-processing behaviors. Mental processes or information processes are those theoretical or conceptual acts (processes) by which information is transmitted from the peripheral (to the central nervous system) sensory organs (i. e., eyes, ears, fingers [tactile], muscles, [kinesthetic]) perceived, labeled, stored, provided mediated meaning, conceptually associated, and expressed as language or motoric responses. It is not unusual for practitioners to reference most psychological functions synonymously with mental abilities. Hence, the very definition of learning disabilities refers to "basic psychological processes."

The history of man, at least those aspects related to the structures of the mind, how it works, and therefore how these processes can be measured, begins with the early Greek philosophers. Pythagoras placed the "mind" in the brain in the sixth century BC. Most of the processes described then were hypotheoretical, related to this assumed function. Therefore, the names given these processes sometimes sound as if they had been isolated neurologically or psychoneurologically. The truth is that the majority of the commonly referenced mental processes, that is, perception and language, are not simple, easily explained constructs. They are complex concepts that may contain hundreds of component subparts. The major issues relating to ability training have been the long-standing arguments regarding the mind, its disabilities, and the habilitation or rehabilitation needed. A case in point is that while simple tests are designed to ascertain visual perceptual motor development, visual perception is not a simple discriminate function. In a general sense, perception requires the discrimination of distinctive features, wherein a specific symbolic meaning can be assigned each distinct stimuli. Logically then, once perceptual information has been discriminated, it may be stored for some short-term reference, or it may be assigned a permanent symbolism, then converted to a language concept. Logically then, too, there may be both visual and auditory perception. These two processes may need to be coordinated when auditory and visual information is presented in an integrated manner. Perception, however, is not logically complex in contrast to the explanations of the structure and function of language.

A mental ability may also be referred to as a faculty. Mann (1979) credits Aristotle for establishing the basis for modern faculty psychology. The Romans further refined and added descriptors such as intellect, attention, and language. St. Thomas Aquinas, during the Middle Ages, although poorly credited, began to amplify and extend facfacultysychology by dividing it into two parts: the intellectus, which carries out abstractions and functions of the possible intellect; and the ratio, which is directed toward understanding, judgment, and reasoning. The intellect is active and creative, the ratio, passive and receptive, i. e., sensory stimuli must be perceptually assigned symbolic meaning/ value before they have intellectual meaning.

Faculty psychology, the theoretical basis for mental process, was soundly criticized by many of the seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century scholars. Hobbes (1558- 1679) displaced it with his theories of automotion in the brain set off by sensory stimulation. Locke (1632- 1704) was a sensationalist, and an arch antifacilist. Hume (1715- 1776), also a sensationalist in the British tradition, condemned faculties, basing mental response solely in sensory stimulation. By the mid-nineteenth century, the psychologist and educator Herbart attempted to destroy for all time the residual of faculty psychology.

One of the predominate figures in mental measurement, Spearman, writing in 1927, notes that faculty psychology seems to persist, no matter what the criticism.

One curious feature about these formal faculties has yet to be mentioned. The doctrine loses every battle- so to speak- but always wins the war. It will bend to the slightest breath of criticism; but not the most violent storm can break it. The attacks made long ago by the Herbartians appeared to be irresistible; no serious defense was even attempted. Yet the sole permanent effect of these attacks was only to banish the word "faculty," leaving the doctrine represented by this word to escape scot free. (pp. 38- 39)

However, other early forces in the field such as Thorndike continued to be critical. As a quote from Mann (1979) notes,

The science of education should at once rid itself of its conception of the mind as a sort of machine, different parts of which sense, perceive, discriminate, imagine, remember, conceive, associate, reason about, desire, choose, form habits, attend to. . . . There is no power of sense discrimination to be delicate or coarse. . . . There are only the connections between separate sense stimuli and our separate senses and human judgments thereof. . . . There is no memory to hold in a uniformly tight and loose grip the experiences of the past. There are only the particular connections between particular mental events and others. (Klein, 1970, p. 662)

Though an out-and-out antifaculist, Thorndike, interestingly enough, could not shake the ingrained habit of his times of speaking about "faculties." Thus, he described his bonds as faculties in the 1903 edition of Education Psychology (p. 30) "the mind is a host of highly particularized and independent faculties" (Spearman, 1927, p. 36). Yet, it is faculty psychology that provided the definition for twentieth-century mental measurement. On the basis of his inquiries, Galton described what, in essence, is a superfaculty, which he called "general ability," assigning to this faculty the name intelligence (a term popularized by Spencer). Galton distinguished this superfaculty from special aptitudes. He was more interested in the first, since he believed that general ability inevitably set a limit to accomplishment of any kind. He complained that most wriwritersmphasized specific aptitudes or skill, that they

lay too much stress upon apparent specialties, thinking that because a man is devoted to some particular pursuit, he could not have succeeded in anything else; they might as well say that, because a youth has fallen in love with a brunette, he could not possibly have fallen in love with a blonde. He may or may not have had any more natural liking for the former type of beauty than for the latter; but it is as probable as not that the affair was mainly or wholly due to a general amorousness. It is just the same with intellectual pursuits. (Burt, 1955, p. 85)

Galton most certainly did not deny the existence of special capacities or their potential importance. He cited instances in which memory, musical ability, and artistic and literary talent ran within several members of the same family. Home environment or family tradition could not explain all such cases, for example, "prodigies of memory." However, his studies in the main had convinced him "in how small a degree intellectual eminence can be considered as due to purely special powers" (Burt, 1955, p. 85).

As to the measurement of both general and special abilities, Galton suggested that individual differences in both are distributed in accordance with the normal curve, much as other human characteristics such as size or height are distributed. He printed a tabular classification of frequencies which he held "may apply to special just as truly as to general ability" (Burt, 1955, p. 85). Thus we see the beginnings of psychometric assessment of both general ability and specific abilities.

About 1880, the German psychiatrist Kraeplin, one of Wundt's students, began to use different tests to describe higher cognitive functions (Guilford, 1967). His testing interests were directed to such processes as general memory, specific memory, attention, and task-directed behaviors. However, it was James McKeen Cattell who first formulated the term "mental tests." Cattell's extension of Galton's simple tests began the modern practice of psychometrics as we know it today. Others such as DeSanctis attacked the realms of higher cognitive functioning. DeSanctis published a series of six tests including (1) memory for colors, (2) recognition of forms, (3) sustained attention, (4) reasoning involving relations, (5) following instructions, and (6) thinking.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the French Minister of Public Instruction was still wrestling with an age-old problem: how to consistently identify the handicapped. Having agreed on the terminology to be used (idiot for the lowest level; imbecile for the intermediate level; and moron for the mildly mentally retarded), a psychologist, Alfred Binet, and physician, Theodore Simon, were commissioned to develop a consistent means of classifying children. Binet and Simon (1905, 1908) produced, through a standardized procedure of observation, a psychological classification of quantifiable differences in children's intellectual characteristics (traits). By 1905 Binet and Simon had developed 29 such tests designed to measure specific traits; by 1908 they had developed a classification of tests beginning at age three and continuing through age 13. Thus, the work preceding 1905 established human intelligence as a comprehensive integration of several traits including memory, attention, comprehension, muscular coordination, spatial relations, judgment, initiative, and ability to adapt. Further, the criteria for measurement of these traits were standardized at various chronological age levels. From this procedure the measurement of human performance took a great leap forward.

Binet carried his interest in higher processes into his work of developing mental tests for use in Paris schools. He and his associates criticized tests of the Galton type as being too simple, too sensory-motor, and too dependent on associationistic dogma. They expressed their own preference for the complex cognitive functions, proposing that 10 categories be explored by mental tests: (1) memory, (2) imagery, (3) imagination, (4) attention, (5) comprehension, (6) suggestibility, (7) aesthetic appreciation, (8) moral sentiment, (9) muscular force, force of will, and motor skill, and (10) judgment of visual space.

Modern psychoeducational assessment and remedial practices, indeed the very content of most perceptual, motor, language, vocational, and academic remedial curcurriculaare based on Binet's work. Two of the major issues are the specificity with which mental ability processes can reliably be ascertained and the desirability of remediating the specific perceptual or language processes in terms of their transferability and ultimate academic and social learning transfer.

But, it is clear that abilities had been identified by tests and that ability training was to become a crucial issue facing the twentieth century. The main philosophic question is, do mental abilities really exist in nature? The second question is, do they respond to specific training once they are described, measured, observed, and, in short, isolated as specific mental abilities? These two questions constitute the major issues facing special educators today. Since mental abilities are developmentally linked to chronological growth, culture, and experience, they may be encouraged by structured educational experiences. Conversely, when developmentally arrested, culturally neglected, or denied sequenced experiential practice, they may become deficient. Mental ability deficiencies may then be the principal characteristics associated with handicapping conditions such as learning and behavioral disorders. The entire nervous system develops only when each aspect or component necessary to successfully decode information (perceive its symbolic features) provides that symbol a language construct and a mechanism by which encoding of the mediated concept through motoric or verbal language permits communication. Therefore, specific reference is made in the definition of mental retardation and learning disabilities, two of the largest categories of handicapping conditions, to dysfunction of perceptual, perceptual-motor, or language abilities.

Philosophically, then, it appears that a leap in logic is not required to assume that if a disability exists, relative to causing a handicap, it should be corrected. That is exactly what ability training implies. It would appear that it was incorrectly named to begin with. It should be called disability training.

The history of ability training parallels that of the field of special education. The pioneers in ability training were the pioneers of the field. Itard, Howe, Sequin, Montessori, Binet, Wepman, Kirk, Strauss, Fernald, Frostig, and Cruickshank were all advocates of special education as it grew, and responsible for advancing ability training simultaneously. Tests used to describe a disability were followed by commercially prepared curricula to train the ability and remove the disability. The logic is obvious. The problem is in the scientific validation, or lack of it.

The early 1960s brought with it a concern for neurologically impaired children. The mid-1960s added the term learning disabled as a category of handicapping conditions. Both of these conditions required an increased emphasis on psychoneurological and psychoeducational assessment. Those that developed psychoeducational and psychoneurological tests to diagnose these conditions fueled the fire for ability training by describing conditions which, by their description, must exist.

Curricula designed to modify and treat patterns of disability were soon commercially available. Whole classes of children were exposed to Montessori, Frostig, and Fernald techniques, and administered Frostig, Kephart, and Delaccato assessment procedures. Tests such as the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities became common place, much as the Woodcock-Johnson test batteries of today. The prevailing belief was that specific mental processes must be diagnosed in order for modification of a specific disability to result in quantum jumps in academic remedial achievement and potential normalization. Thus, the so-called diagnostic-prescriptive process is one form of ability training.

What then is the difficulty with visual and auditory per ceptual training, perceptual motor training, language training, and the other forms of sensory, motor, perceptual, and language ability training? The problem is that data arrived at through quasi-scientific means are controversial concerning the results of ability training. There are data to support ability training, if the objective to be achieved is a change in an ability, and that ability alone. There are relatively few data to support that transfer of training occurs between training of a perceptual or cognitive ability and an academic achievement skill, for instance reading.

It is not clear which age groups profit most; there are some data to suggest that perceptual motor training is most effective between 3 and 7 years of age, and language training, 18 months to 14 or 15 years of age. There is no clear pattern as to the intelligence level needed for a student to profit from ability training, since specific abilities constitute statements of global intelligence. Cultural and ethnic factors have been found: urban black children may need auditory perceptual training; Native Americans outperform age norms of Anglos on visual perceptual tests.

The overall interaction among these abilities being training and other abilities remains unknown, except it does seem that auditory perceptual training is related to language growth much more than visual perceptual training. Language training seemingly has the greatest transference to academic remediation. But even the search for generalities would produce only controversy. The fact is, ability training makes sense logically but has not been sufficiently researched devoid of other educational practices with school-age children to permit definitive statements. And yet, the practice does not only continue, it continues to thrive.

REFERENCES

Binet, A., & Simon, T. (1905). Methodes nouvelles pour le diagnostic du niveau intellectuel des anomaux. L'anne psychologique, 11, 191- 244.

Binet, A., & Simon, T. (1908). Le developpement de l'intelligence chez les infants. L'anne psychologique, 14, 1- 94.

Burt, C. (1955). The evidence for the concept of intelligence. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 25, 158- 177.

Klein, D. B. (1970). A history of scientific psychology. New York: Basic Books.

Mann, L. (1970). On the trail of process. New York: Grune & Stratton.

Spearman, C. (1927). The abilities of man: Their nature and measurement. London: Macmillan.

DAVID A. SABATINO
West Virginia College of Graduate Studies

DIAGNOSTIC-PRESCRIPTIVE TEACHING FERNALD METHOD ILLINOIS TEST OF PSYCHOLINGUISTIC ABILITIES

INTELLIGENCE REMEDIATION, DEFICIT-CENTERED MODELS

ABNORMALITIES, NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL

The human nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and an intricate network of nerve fibers projecting from the brain and spinal cord. Structurally, the brain is differentiated into the two cerebral hemispheres, the brain stem and the cerebellum. The brain, together with the spinal cord, traditionally has been conceptualized as the central nervous system (CNS). The entire network of nerve fibers is then referred to as the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The brief discussion regarding normal neurological structure and function that follows is meant as an aid in the appreciation of neurophysiological disorders. The intent here is to offer an overview; for a more detailed account of the nervous system, the reader is referred to one of a number of neurophysiological texts (e. g., Bickerstaff, 1978; Lindsley & Holmes, 1984).

Peripheral nerves are referred to by the direction the impulses flow and the site of their termination. Specifically, the direction of the impulses carried in relation to the CNS, the originating structure, or final destination of the impulse, and the nature of the impulse itself, are used to classify peripheral nerves. For instance, the PNS contains sensory nerves that carry impulses from the sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, etc.) to the CNS. By way of contrast, the motor nerves travel from the CNS to the periphery, exciting both skeletal (voluntary) and smooth muscle (involuntary) muscle into movement. Included in PNS, the cranial nerves arise from or travel to the brain stem (connecting structure between spinal cord and cerebrum). Similarly, the spinal nerves travel to or from the spinal cord. The group of peripheral nerves that carry impulses to smooth muscle (causing involuntary movements of the intestines, heartbeat, constriction of the pupils, etc.) and those that incite the secretion of glands cause automatic changes in the body. These peripheral nerves are sometimes referred to collectively as the autonomic nervous system.

Functionally, the fundamental building block of the nervous system is the neuronal circuit. The simplest neuronal circuit contains only two interconnected nerve cells, involving an input and an output cell (e. g., simple knee jerk reflex). Local circuits exist at all levels of the nervous system and, in fact, such circuits in the spinal cord connect the cerebral cortex, brain stem, and cerebellum. These connections can function as modules in more complex circuits. Indeed, these integrated networks are capable of sustaining complex behavior (Gaddes, 1985; Kandel, Schwartz, & Jessell, 1991).

As an example, sensory impulses traveling from the various sense organs to the brain are integrated, recorded, recognized, stored or remembered, as interpreted by the cerebral cortex. Moreover, skeletal movement may be affected by motor nerves traveling by way of the spinal cord. Generally, the entire system works to regulate and coordinate bodily responses to both internal and external changes in the environment (Taber, 1970). A malfunctioning neurological system results in an impaired capacity for responding adaptively to a changing environment.

Neurophysiological abnormality may occur by means of many agents and during various stages of the life process; some stages offer more vulnerability than others. Antenatal agents (occurring before birth) described by Nelson (1969) include genetic factors, chromosomal aberrations, placental disease, maternal complications, number of previous pregnancies, age of both mother and father, intrauterine infection, toxic agents (including certain drugs and alcohol), and radiation. Various organ systems begin and end their prenatal development at different times, therefore their sensitivity to agents varies with maturity of the fetus. The most vulnerable period for the brain is from 15 to 25 days of gestation but, clearly, damage can occur at any time during the development of the nervous system (Hetherington & Parke, 1979).

Perinatal (occurring just before or after birth) vulnerability to neurological insult is accentuated by premature birth. Inadequate oxygen during this stage, hemorrhage, trauma, and infection are the principal offenders (Nelson, 1969). Postnatal (occurring after birth) damage to the neurological system may include damage incurred after birth, during childhood, or throughout the various stages of adulthood. Infections, principally meningitis and encephalitis, injuries, and degenerative neurological disease have also been implicated (Nelson, 1969).

Weller, Swash, McLellan and Scholtz (1983) estimated that 40% of developmental malformations of the CNS arise from genetic abnormality. The most common genetic abnormality is Down's syndrome. This disorder is associated with a group of chromosomal aberrations involving the 21st chromosome pair. In the great majority of cases, a failure to join occurs during the meiosis process, resulting in a trisomy (additional chromosome) of the 21st chromosome pair. Translocation and mosaician represent less frequently occurring aberrations of the 21st chromosome pair, also associated with Down's syndrome (Kopp & Parmelee, 1979).

The incidence of Down's syndrome is between one and two per thousand live births for all races and ethnic groups (Gillberg, 1995; Norman, 1963). Although there is some variability in incidence, most researchers cite an increase in relation to maternal age (Benda, 1960; Lawrence, 1981; Weller et al., 1983). A gradual increase begins with maternal age of 35 and escalates drastically after 40. Metabolic or environmental factors in the mothers' ovaries have been suggested as causes for the syndrome (Benda, 1960; Lawrence, 1981; Nelson, 1969; Norman, 1963; Weller, Swash, McLellan, & Scholtz, 1983). Structural inspection of the Down's syndrome brain suggests impairment of both growth and differentiation (Benda, 1960). The brain is generally low in weight and the normal convolutional pattern of the brain is simplified. The density of the nerve cells in the cerebral cortex is reduced (Weller et al., 1983).

Rate of mental development is not only slower than normal but also deteriorates progressively with age in Down's syndrome (Cornwell & Birch, 1969; Dicks-Mireaux, 1972; Gillberg, 1995). Many explanations, including neurophysiologic changes, have been offered as explanation for this progressive deterioration. Weller et al. (1983) noted that the microscopic study of brain tissue of Down's syndrome victims during autopsy reveals patterns of neurofibrillary tangles, senile plaques, and g ranulovacular degeneration such as are found in Alzheimer's disease (deteriorative disease of the elderly involving degeneration of the smaller blood vessels of the brain). Kopp and Parmelee (1979) suggest that the severe limitations in higher level integrative abilities evident in Down's syndrome may cause deficits in information processing (e. g., use of language) that could have progressive detrimental effects on the child's intellectual development over time. The child's capacity for responding adaptively to changing stimulus conditions, a necessity for proper intellectual development, may be impaired directly by the nature of the syndrome. However, the nature of the environment in which these children find themselves, whether it is enriched or impoverished, also can affect development.

In contrast to Down's syndrome, which is genetically related, spina bifida seems to be more influenced by environ-mental factors. Although genetic factors are suggested by the higher incidence in infants born to parents with a family history of such lesions, it seems that racial, geographical, and even seasonal factors also may be implicated (Kopp & Parmelee, 1979; Weller et al., 1983). Clearly, the interaction of genetic and environmental factors has recently been given prominence. Genetic predisposition combined with certain environmental factors may be the causal condition for spina bifida occurrence (Carter, 1974).

Spina bifida represents a malformation of the nervous system that appears to be more localized and variable in effect than that of Down's syndrome. This defect occurs as a result of faulty prenatal development, in which the lower end of embryotic CNS fails to close. The contents of the spinal column (nerve fibers, meninges, and fluid) may protrude from the lower back in a sac (meningomyelocele). Individual defects vary depending on the extent of damage to the nerve fibers and the existence of other associated conditions (Kleinberg, 1982). The spinal cord is frequently abnormal above and below the level of the spina bifida (Weller et al., 1983). Hydrocephalus, abnormal accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid, frequently is associated with spina bifida. Untreated hydrocephalus creates severe en- largement of the head, increased pressure, and subsequent damage to the brain (Kleinberg, 1982).

Intellectual levels of victims with spina bifida are variable, ranging from an IQ of 137 to severe subnormality (Gillberg, 1995; Hunt, 1981). More specifically, Spain (1974) associates mental retardation with protrusion of a portion of the brain (cranial meningocele and cephalocele), whereas infants with other forms are considered to have potentially normal intellect. Many individuals with spina bifida are incontinent of urine and feces, and have weakness of their legs with sensory loss below the level of the lesion (Kleinberg, 1982). Owing to the presence of the typical locomotor problems in spina bifida, it is unclear whether some deficits are due to neurological impairment or environmental influence. Spain's (1974) longitudinal spina bifida studies have revealed significant deficits in spatial and manipulative development. The fact that the disorder limits the individual's experience may, in fact, cause or influence the specific deficits in spatial and manipulative development. Among the educational problems noted are difficulties with arithmetic and perseveration in language, as well as emotionality and poor motivation (Kopp & Parmelee, 1979).

Primary disorders of the CNS, like Down's syndrome and spina bifida, represent a relatively small proportion of the neurological problems in infants (Horwitz, 1973). More frequently, the genetic programs for potentially normal neurological development are subverted by adverse prenatal or birthing conditions such as lack of oxygen (hypoxia). Cerebral hemorrhage often occurs during prolonged hypoxia. The accumulation of stagnate blood that follows circulatory collapse may cause bleeding and ultimate damage to brain tissue (Weller et al., 1983). Premature infants are especially vulnerable to hypoxia. Since the respiratory system is not fully perfected until the last four to six weeks of gestation, these infants are often born without an optimally functioning respiratory system. Postmortem studies on premature children show that the bleeding usually occurs within one of the cavities of the brain or the space below the arachnoid membrane that contains cerebrospinal fluid (subarachnoid space [Horwitz, 1973]). Later complications of such subarachnoid hemorrhage involve epilepsy, dementia, and hydrocephalus (Weller et al., 1983). Full-term infants are more likely to suffer from hemorrhage in the mid-brain stem (pons) and the posterior portion of the cerebral cortex (hippocampus). Cause for these differences are not, as yet, fully understood.

The location and size of brain lesions at or soon after birth are the primary determinants of the extent of nervous system impairment. The results may range from a gross alteration of brain organization to more minimal effects such as motor overactivity, shortened attention span, or slight muscle impairment (Pincus & Tucker, 1974; Teberg et al., 1982). Large injuries in infants tend to produce more widespread deficits in intellectual abilities than similar injuries in adults. Dulling of many areas of intellectual functioning, as opposed to having an effect in specific functioning (e. g., language development, visual-spatial relationship comprehension), is also a hallmark effect of the diffuse damage that follows hypoxia (Rapin, 1982).

Neurological deficiencies from early injury are difficult to predict. The nervous system of the newborn infant is extremely immature, functioning largely at brain stem and spinal cord level. The neurologic reflexes such as Moro, grasping, and stepping represent primitive neuronal function that is largely uninhibited by higher cerebral control. Changes in these reflexes are usually not helpful in localizing the lesion, and may occur with either cortical or subcortical dysfunction (Horwitz, 1973). Damage to the cerebral cortex, for instance, may not be evident until the age when behavior dependent on the damaged part makes its developmental appearance. Thus, pathology of fine motor coordination, speech, and cognition is unlikely to be diagnosed in infancy (Rapin, 1982). However, changes in reflexes and disorganized activity of the subcortical structures expressed as a movement disorder or spasticity continue to be used as indicators of neurological damage. In Teberg et al. 's study of low birth weight infants (1982), spastic quadiplegia did, in fact, emerge as the indicative diagnosis of neurological handicap. Churchill, Masland, Naylor, and Ashworth (1974) support this finding.

Turkewitz (1974) contended that the standard methods used for the early identification of neurologic handicaps are insensitive to many forms of neurological involvement. Infants who have had difficulties shortly before or during the birth process frequently appear to recover in a few days. However, abnormalities in motor, language, and intellectual functioning become apparent later in infancy and childhood. Studies using indicators of higher levels of neurological organization (e. g., left/ right preference) are being investigated in an effort to identify infants who have experienced neurological damage that is normally not expressed until later in life. However, normative patterns of left/ right preference for infants must be established first, before atypical patterns can be interpreted.

The possibilities for neurophysiological dysfunction are limitless; the pathologies presented should not be considered as inclusive by any means. However, it is hoped that an appreciation of the complexity of cerebral neural structure and the corresponding intricacies of impairment resulting from neurophysiological dysfunction will encourage the reader to treat each impaired patient as a unique individual, for heterogeneity of outcome is common (Gaddes, 1985; Goldstein & Reynolds, 1999; Kopp & Parmelee, 1979).

REFERENCES

Benda, C. E. (1960). The child with mongolism (congenital acromicria). New York: Grune & Stratton.

Bickerstaff, E. R. (1978). Neurology (3rd ed.). Bungay, England: Chaucer.

Carter, C. O. (1974). Clues to the aetiology of neural tube malformations: Studies in hydrocephalus and spina bifida. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 16( Suppl. 32), 3- 15.

Churchill, J. A., Masland, R. L., Naylor, A. A., & Ashworth, M. R. (1974). The etiology of cerebral palsy in pre-term infants. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 16, 143- 149.

Cornwell, A. C., & Birch, H. G. (1969). Psychological and social development in home-reared children with Down's syndrome (mongolism). American Journal of Mental Deficiencies, 74, 341- 350.

Dicks-Mireaux, M. J. (1972). Mental development of infants with Down's syndrome. American Journal of Mental Deficiencies, 77, 26- 32.

Gaddes, W. H. (1985). Learning disabilities and brain function: A neuropsychological approach (2nd ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Gillberg, C. (1995). Clinical child neuron psychiatry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Goldstein, S., & Reynolds, C. R. (1999). Handbook of neurodevelopmental and genetic disorders of children. NY: Guilford.

Hetherington, E. M., & Parke, R. D. (1979). Child psychology: A contemporary viewpoint (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Horwitz, S. J. (1973). Neurologic problems. In M. H. Klaus & A. A. Fanaroff (Eds.), Care of the high risk neonate (pp. 287- 300). Philadelphia: Saunders.

Hunt, G. (1981). Spina bifida: Implications for 100 children at school. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 23, 160- 172.

Kandel, E., Schwartz, J., & Jessell, T. (1991). Principles of neural science. NY: Elsevier.

Kleinberg, S. B. (1982). Educating the chronically ill child. Rockville, MD: Aspen Systems.

Kopp, C. B., & Parmelee, A. H. (1979). Prenatal and perinatal influences on infant behavior. In J. D. Osofsky (Ed.), Handbook of infant development (pp. 29- 75). New York: Wiley.

Lawrence, K. M. (1981). Abnormalities of the central nervous system. In A. P. Norman (Ed.), Congenital abnormalities in infancy (pp. 21- 81). Oxford, England: Blackwell.

Lindsley, D. F., & Holmes, J. E. (1984). Basic human neurophysiology. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.

Nelson, W. E. (Ed.). (1969). Textbook of pediatrics (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.

Norman, A. P. (1963). Congenital abnormalities in infancy. Philadelphia: Davis.

Pincus, J. H., & Tucker, G. J. (1974). Behavioral neurology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rapin, I. (1982). Children with brain dysfunction: Neurology, cognition, language and behavior. New York: Raven.

Spain, B. (1974). Verbal performance ability in pre-school children with spina bifida. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 16, 773- 780.

Taber, C. W. (1970). Taber's cyclopedic medical dictionary (11th ed.). Philadelphia: Davis.

Teberg, A. J., Wu, P. Y. K., Hodgman, J. E., Mich, C., Garfinkle, J., Azen, S., & Wingert, W. A. (1982). Infants with birth weight under 1500 grams: Physical, neurological and developmental outcome. Critical Care Medicine, 10, 10- 14.

Turkewitz, G. (1974). The detection of brain dysfunction in the newborn infant. In D. P. Purpura & G. P. Reaser (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of brain maturation and its abnormalities (pp. 125- 130). Baltimore: University.

Weller, R. O., Swash, M., McLellan, D. S., & Scholtz, C. L. (1983). Clinical neuropathology. New York: Overwallop, Great Britain: BAS.

DOROTHY A. STROM
Ball State University Indiana University School of Medicine

ADAPTED PHYSICAL EDUCATION HEALTH MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES PHYSICAL ANOMALIES

ABPP See AMERICAN BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.

ABROMS, KIPPY I. (1942- )

Kippy I. Abroms received her BA in psychology from the University of New Hampshire in 1962, MEd in reading from Tulane University in 1973, and PhD in special education from the University of South Mississippi in 1977. Abroms also completed post doctoral training at the University of California, Riverside in 1977 where she worked with Jane Mercer on the System of Multiple Pluralistic Assessment (SOMPA). Abroms is presently an associate pro-fessor at Tulane University where she has been teaching since 1975. She has directed several projects for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services and the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped.

Abroms conducted research with J. W. Bennett (1981) that dispelled the well-entrenched notion of exclusive maternal etiology in Down's syndrome. Abroms and Bennett found that in a significant number of cases the extra #21 chromosome, the immediate cause of Down's syndrome, comes from the sperm. Thus there can be a maternal or paternal contribution to the etiology of Trisomy 21.

Her research has included a longitudinal study on the social development of preschool gifted children, and, as a member of the cranio-facial team at Tulane University Medical Center, she has been involved in investigations of the relationship between cognitive functioning, self-concept, and cranio-facial intervention. She has also become interested in how genetic disorders are manifested in children, and especially in facial deformities that are obvious in the classroom (Abroms, 1987).

REFERENCES

Abroms, K. (1987). Genetic disorders underlying facial deformities. Topics in early childhood special education, 6, 92- 100.

Abroms, K. I., & Bennett, J. W. (1981). Parental contributions to Trisomy 21: Review of recent cytological and statistical findings. In P. Mittler (Ed.), Frontiers of knowledge in mental retardation, Vol. 2. Biomedical aspects (pp. 149- 157). Baltimore: University Park.

ELAINE FLETCHER-JANZEN
University of Northern Colorado

ABSENCE OF SPEECH
See SPEECH, ABSENCE OF.

ABSENCE SEIZURES

Absence seizures (also known as petit mal seizures) are a form of epilepsy characterized by brief losses of consciousness unaccompanied by large convulsive movements. Ab- sence seizures are generalized; involving abnormal activity throughout the brain. They are characterized by lack of any aura (sensation that a seizure is to occur), brevity (absence seizures typically last 5- 10 seconds [Menkes, 1985]), and abrupt termination. After an absence seizure has occurred, there is no postictal period, the individual does not complain of fatigue or the need to sleep, and he or she can resume the activity being engaged in prior to the seizure. Children with absence seizures often are unaware of their lapses of consciousness.

Although absence seizures are nonconvulsive during the seizure, some movement will be seen in about 70% of diagnosed children. When the seizure begins, an observer may notice a vacant look in the child's eyes. Minor motor movements such as lip smacking, eye blinking, or twitching of the eyelids or face sometimes occur. There may be a slight loss of body tone, with the child perhaps dropping something he or she is holding. Absence seizures often can be precipitated by sustained hyperventilation, and less frequently by photic stimulation.

Absence seizures are more common in girls, and onset is generally between 5 and 15 years of age. There frequently is a family history of a seizure disorder. Most often the neurologic exam and CAT scan is normal. The EEG shows a characteristic three-cycle per second spike and wave pattern during seizures. Generally IQs are reported to be within normal limits, though some studies suggest a mild depression when compared with siblings (Dreifuss, 1983). The most frequent school problem is difficulty in paying attention. There is some evidence that this is related to abnormal brain function (Mirsky, 1969). With frequent seizures, schoolwork often is disrupted.

The medications used in absence seizures include ethosuximide (Zarontin), valproate (Depakene), clonazepam (Clonopin), paramethadione (Paradione), and methsuximide (Celontin). There are other types of seizures that include staring, but these are not simple absence seizures.

REFERENCES

Dreifuss, F. E. (1983). Pediatric epileptology. Boston: Wright. Menkes, J. H. (1985). Textbook of child neurology. Philadelphia: Lee & Febiger.

Mirsky, A. F. (1969). Studies of paroxysmal EEG phenomena and background EEG in relation to impaired attention. In C. R. Evans & T. P. Mullholland (Eds.), Attention in neurophysiology (pp. 310- 322). London: Butterworth.

GRETA N. WILKENING
Children's Hospital

ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPH GRAND MAL SEIZURES SEIZURE DISORDERS

ABSENTEEISM/ ATTENDANCE OF HANDICAPPED CHILDREN

Compulsory school attendance laws have been enacted in all states. The scope of those laws was narrowed in most states by the introduction of exemption clauses. These clauses excuse children considered unfit or uneducable because of physical or mental handicaps from school attendance. Legal challenges by handicapped children for extension and protection of the right established under state law of equal access to educational opportunity ensued during the early 1970s. Those cases were followed by federal and state laws that mandate free appropriate public education to handicapped children and ensure their right to attend school regardless of the severity or type of their disability.

Under IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a handicapped child must be educated in the least restrictive environment his or her needs allow. Children with serious, often chronic, health impairments who require special education and related services may receive instruction in hospitals or in the home. Schools use various approaches, including home visitations, school-to-home telephone communication, and interactive television to connect a homebound or hospitalized student with the classroom. Federal law recognizes that there are instances when, because of the nature or severity of a child's handicap, the child must be educated in a setting other than the regular classroom. However, the least restrictive environment provisions prohibit placement of a child on home-bound instruction or other exclusion from the regular educational environment solely because the child is handicapped. Homebound instruction may not be appropriate for the instructional needs of that child.

There have been few studies of program and school attendance as a factor in the achievement of handicapped students. There is some evidence that handicapped students attending regular schools are no more likely to be absent from school than nonhandicapped students (Sullivan & McDaniel, 1983). High rates of school attendance do not necessarily ensure high rates of program attendance or achievement. Sullivan and McDaniel (1983) concluded that handicapped children served in resource rooms may be receiving up to one-quarter less schooling time than is prescribed in their individualized education programs because of competing school activities and absences of either the resource room teacher or the student during a scheduled period. In various studies involving handicapped or nonhandicapped learners (Ivarie, Hogue, & Brulle, 1984; Rosenshine, 1979), investigators in the area of academic learning time as it relates to academic achievement have found a positive correlation between the learning of basic skills and the number of minutes students spend on academically relevant tasks. Researchers are continuing their study of increased active learning time as a powerful intervention technique for handicapped and nonhandicapped students.

Under the IDEA and Section 504, mandatory procedural safeguards exist that allow parents to challenge school disciplinary actions that would interrupt a handicapped child's education. Expulsions, suspensions, and transfers to settings outside a regular classroom or school are considered placement changes since such measures remove students from their current school program or curtail attendance (Simon, 1984). A series of court decisions on this sensitive area have provided important guidelines for determining when and for what length of time handicapped students may be expelled or suspended under federal law (Reschly & Bersoff, 1999; Simon, 1984).

REFERENCES

Ivarie, J., Hogue, D., & Brulle, A. (1984). Investigation of main-stream teacher time spent with students labeled learning disabled. Exceptional Children, 51, 142- 149.

Reschly, D., & Bersoff, D. (1999). Law and school psychology. In C. R. Reynolds & T. B. Gutkin (Eds.), The Handbook of School Psychology (3rd ed.) (pp. 1077- 1112). NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Rosenshine, B. V. (1979). Content, time, and direct instruction. In P. L. Peterson & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Research on teaching (pp. 28- 56). Berkeley, CA: McCutchan.

Simon, S. G. (1984). Discipline in the public schools: A dual standard for handicapped and nonhandicapped students? Journal of Law & Education, 13, 209- 237.

Sullivan, P. D., & McDaniel, E. A. (1983). Pupil attendance in resource rooms as one measure of the time on task variable. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 16, 398- 399.

SHIRLEY A. JONES
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

HOMEBOUND INSTRUCTION INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT SUMMER SCHOOL FOR HANDICAPPED

ABSTRACTION, CAPACITY FOR

Abstract reasoning refers to the ability to identify common features of two or more concepts, and has been considered an essential component of intelligence (e. g., Thorndike, 1927). Abstract reasoning ability can be assessed through at least three types of tasks: those which require a person to identify a general concept common to several exemplars, e. g., sorting objects according to categories; to state com mon features among different concepts, e. g, the Similarities subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- III or to state examples or features of a given concept (Burger, Blackman, Clark, & Reis, 1982).

While general abstraction ability varies across persons, ability to reason abstractly in specific tasks appears to vary with subject area expertise. For example, in studying the superior memory of chess masters for the configuration of briefly presented game arrangements, Chi, Glaser, and Rees (1981) suggest that experts form abstract, organized representations of the field of play, while novices retain only the surface features of the problem. Adelson (1984) found that novice computer programming students actually had better recall for the details of a briefly presented program than did expert programmers, but that the experts had better recall for what the programs were de-signed to do. Ability to make abstractions about information seems to improve with experience; as one gains more experience with an area of knowledge, one becomes familiar with the organization of it, and is able to integrate new information with greater success.

Burger, Blackman, Clark, and Reis (1982) found that educable mentally retarded (EMR) adolescents could be trained to improve their abstract reasoning abilities. Context and instructional support also influence the application of abstract thinking skills (Alexander & Murphy, 1999).

REFERENCES

Adelson, B. (1984). When novices surpass experts: The difficulty of a task may increase with expertise. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 10, 483- 495.

Alexander, P. A., & Murphy, P. K. (1999). What cognitive psychology has to say to school psychology: Shifting perspectives and shared purposes. In C. R. Reynolds & T. B. Gutkin (Eds.), The Handbook of School Psychology (3rd ed.) (pp. 167- 193). NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Burger, A. L., Blackman, L. S., Clark, H. T., & RegeneralizationEffects of hypothesis testing and variable format training on gen-eralization of a verbal abstraction strategy by EMR learners. American Journal on Mental Deficiency, 86, 405- 413.

Chi, M. T. H., Glaser, R., & Rees, E. (1981). Expertise in problem solving. In R. Sternberg (Ed.), Advances in the psychology of human intelligence (Vol. 1, pp. 7- 75). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Thorndike, E. L. (1927). The measurement of intelligence. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University.

JOHN MACDONALD
Eastern Kentucky University

EDUCABLE MENTALLY RETARDED INTELLIGENCE TESTING

ABSTRACT THINKING, IMPAIRMENT IN

Those who work with children having learning problems are interested in trying to understand their thinking processes. Three groups of children have been of particular interest- deaf, mentally retarded, and learning disabled. Children with these disorders have all exhibited difficulty acquiring academic skills. One hypothesis for their difficulty is that they may not be processing information normally. Some assert these children have deficiencies in abstract reasoning.

A theory of abstract reasoning hinges on the notion that human thinking is a process of conceptualization. Concept formation is the organization of data into categories. To know a concept is to know the characteristics of an entity that either include it or exclude it from a category. To know the concept of "dog" is to know that animals with four legs, hair, and the ability to bark belong together in a category. Some argue that forming a concept is a process of abstracting. To learn the concept of dog requires noticing common characteristics of different dogs, as well as noticing that cats have some characteristics that eliminate them from that category. However, not all concepts are created equally. Some are based on immediate, sensory experience. For example, a child may form a category of "doggy" by directly experiencing dogs and pictures of dogs. This is considered to be a concrete concept. On the other hand, there are concepts that are built from other concepts, for example, the notion of "mammal." A concept even further removed from direct experience is "democracy." The more removed the concept from direct experience, the more abstract it is. The term abstract, then, is used in two different ways. On the one hand, it is used to mean the process by which the salient characteristics of entities are identified in order to form concepts. On the other hand, it is used in contrast with the term concrete to indicate the role of direct experience.

Another factor related to abstract reasoning is the role of symbolization. Luria (1961) stated that the development of more abstract concepts was dependent on symbolization- more specifically the use of language. In fact, he felt that higher level concept formation was probably dependent on the mediation of language. For example, Luria would contend that a concept such as democracy more than likely requires language for acquisition.

Those dealing with children having difficulties with learning have tried to understand the role of conceptualization and symbolization in the development of abstract reasoning. Johnson and Myklebust (1967) were particularly interested in the conceptualization problems of learning- disabled children. They asserted that some have difficulties in the process of concept formation itself. They argued that any deficit in the processes of perception, imagery, symbolization, or abstracting could interfere with conceptualization. Others have difficulty not so much in the process of conceptualization as in dealing with the more abstract concepts. As Johnson and Myklebust point out, an individual with disturbances in the processes of abstracting or conceptualizing may be identified as a concrete thinker.

Myers and Hammill (1982) note that children who cannot form abstract concepts are generally labeled as being mentally retarded rather than learning disabled. Nonetheless, learning-disabled children are often described as having "concrete behavior characterized by a dependence upon immediate experience as opposed to abstract behavior that transcends any given immediate experience and results in the formation of conceptual categories" (p. 39). Many would argue that the difficulty exhibited by learning-disabled children is caused by a developmental lag and is not a permanent problem. In the case of mentally retarded children, however, the conceptualization problem may be permanent. Further, a body of research has been dedicated to trying to determine whether the conceptual behavior of mentally retarded children represents simply a delay or difference (Zigler & Balla, 1982). To understand this problem researchers may, for example, look at how mentally retarded children use the role of language as a mediation device for concept formation (Field, 1977).

It is not uncommon for those working with hearing-impaired children to describe their cognitive behavior as being concrete (Johnson & Myklebust, 1967). There are several difficulties with this notion, however. Hearing-impaired children, because of their limited input, may simply not have had a sufficient experiential base to adequately form concepts that would be expected of hearing children. Another problem in understanding the hearing-impaired child's conceptualization is that these children live in a visual linguistic world. What may appear to be concrete behavior on the part of the child may simply be an artifact of one of the underlying rules of natural sign language systems. The rule is that the structure of an utterance cannot violate the visual world. For example, the word order of the structure "I finished my work, then watched television" is directly translatable into American Sign Language. "I watched television after I finished my work" is not, because it violates the visual sequence of events. Difficulties that hearing-impaired children have with the latter structure, when encountering it in English, are sometimes interpreted as evidence that the child is a concrete thinker. In truth, it may be simply that the child is having difficulty in dealing with a structure that violates the child's linguistic rules (also see Braden, 1994).

It is important to note that the relationship between sensory information, concept formation, and symbolization is not well understood. Research has given us only the most sketchy idea of what the relationship among the three might be. One field of philosophy, epistemology, has been dedicated to trying to understand these relationships. Introspection and logical reasoning remain the most powerful tools available to both psychology and philosophy for describing concept development and abstract reasoning.

In summary, the notion of abstract reasoning is used in two different ways. It can mean the process by which one identifies the salient characteristics in entities for purposes of categorization. Abstract reasoning can also be the process by which individuals deal with concepts that are based on other concepts, rather than concepts that are based on direct experience. Children with learning problems can have difficulties with either type of abstract reasoning. When difficulties are exhibited, the question arises as to whether the difference is simply developmental delay or a difference in cognitive processing. Some people working with learning-disabled children contend that they eventually outgrow problems in these areas. Mentally retarded children may not necessarily do so. Children who are hearing impaired have also been described as "concrete" learners. However, their difficulties may be a result of too little experience and their use of visually based linguistic rules.

REFERENCES

Braden, J. P. (1994). Deafness, deprivation, and IQ. NY: Plenum Press.

Field, D. (1977). The importance of verbal content in the training of Piagetian conservation skills. Child Development, 1583- 1592.

Johnson, D. J., & Myklebust, H. R. (1967). Learning disabilities: Educational principles and practices. New York: Grune & Stratton.

Luria, A. R. (1961). The role of speech in the regulation of normal and abnormal behavior. New York: Liveright (Pergamon Press).

Myers, P. I., & Hammill, D. D. (1982). Learning disabilities: Basic concepts, assessment practices, and instructional strategies. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

Zigler, E., & Balla, D. (1982). Mental retardation: The developmental- difference controversy. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

CAROLYN BULLARD
Lewis & Clark College
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