Exceptional children (1956) - PDF book by Florence Laura Goodenough

Exceptional children 

Exceptional children

For many years I have felt that the major difficulty faced by the exceptional child who differs markedly from others of his age and sex is not so much the fact of difference as it is the feeling of difference for which the objective facts are but partially responsible. Equally and in many cases more important for the child's general adjustment and happiness is the manner in which others react to his exceptional characteristics. Too much admiration and praise may cause the bright child to regard himself as so superior to his mates that he looks upon them with covert or openly expressed scorn. He withdraws from their companionship as they from his.

Thus his brilliance becomes more and more closely confined to the narrow range of abstract intelligence; it does not extend into the areas of social and emotional behaviour. He does not become more tactful, more sympathetic, more self-controlled, or even more honest and trustworthy. Yet under other conditions, his superior ability might have been brought to bear upon all these and other desirable areas of conduct as well as upon academic matters.

In like manner, those who are defective in mind or body may be handicapped as much by their attitude toward their defect as by the defect itself. These attitudes are to a great extent determined by the behaviour of those about them. Everyone, whether he is normal or defective, wishes to participate in the activities of others; he longs to be one of the crowd. Defective children have certain inescapable limitations, but most of them have further limitations imposed by their lack of confidence in their own ability to do things. 

Too much help, too much thoughtless sympathy forge chains for the handicapped child from which it is not easy for him to escape. Just as the social development of the intellectually superior child may be handicapped by a feeling that he is superior to others, so that of the defective child may be handicapped by the belief that he is inferior to his mates. In both cases, there is a tendency for this feeling to become generalized, to extend far beyond the area of actual deviation.

The child who is physically disabled in some way must also be helped to restrict his loss to the area in which it occurs. Too much sympathy, which leads to self-pity, is of all things to be avoided. Emphasis should always be upon the child's abilities, not upon his handicap, and there should be liberal praise for all accomplishments. 

The physically handicapped child may excel in character and personality, and he may acquire much knowledge and skill within the limits set by his actual handicap. The foregoing brief outline indicates the general theme of this volume. In it, we have attempted to provide college students, teachers, parents, and others with a better idea of the nature and needs of children who differ so markedly from the generality that some special provision for their education and training is essential or at least highly desirable. This book is the work of two persons.

 It was partially completed some years ago, at which time failing vision made it impossible for me to continue with it unaided. In this emergency, I turned to my niece, Mrs Lois M. Rynkiewicz, who, although a chemist, has always evinced much interest in psychology, particularly in the areas of child development and behaviour. Mrs Rynkiewicz is not only responsible, in the main, for writing Part V but has also rendered aid in editing and polishing the entire manuscript and has been completely responsible for the proofreading.


Fart I. General
Chapter 1. Introduction 3
Chapter 2. Dimensions of the Personality
-Chapter 3. Special Needs of Exceptional Children . .
Chapter 4. Methods of Classification and Measurement 28
Chapter 5. Further Problems of Classification .... 42
Part 11. Superior Deviates
Chapter 6. Fundamental Concepts .55
Chapter 7. The Exceptionally InteUigent Child: General
Characteristics 65
Chapter 8. The Personal Adjustment and Social Relations of Highly Intelligent Children 92
Chapter 9. The Education of Exceptionally Intelligent Children 123
Chapter 10. The Adult Achievements of Gifted Children 144
Chapter 11. Manifestations of Special Talent in Childhood 156
Part III. The Intellectually Inadequate
X^hapter 12. The Nature of Intellectual Inadequacy . . 179
-Chapter 13. The Causes of Intellectual Inadequacy . . 191
Chapter 14. Attempts to Remedy Mental Retardation . . 215
Chapter 15. The Feeble-minded Child in Home, School, and Community 230
Chapter 16. The Education and Training of Subnormal
Children 242
Chapter 17. The Mentally Deficient Child Grows Up . . 257
Part IV, Marked Inconsistencies of Development
Chapter 18. The Patterning of Aptitudes and Achievements 271
Chapter 19. Specialized Educational Inconsistencies . . 275
Chapter 20. Stuttering or Stammering 292
Chapter 21. Speech Defects Other Than Stuttering . . 304
Part V. The Physically Handicapped Child
Chapter 22. Children with Sensory Handicaps: The Blind 317
Chapter 23. Children with Sensory Handicaps: The Partially Sighted 331
Chapter 24. Children with Sensory Handicaps: The Deaf 334
Chapter 25. Children with Sensory Handicaps: The Hard-of-hearing ... . . . . . . 345
Chapter 26. The Child with Cerebral Palsy: The Brain-damaged Child 351
Chapter 27. The Postencephalitic Child ...... 363
Chapter 28. The Child with Epilepsy 375
Chapter 29. The Child with Other Physical Handicaps. 389
Chapter 30. Multiple Handicaps 393
Part VI. The Deviate and Social Progress
Chapter 31. Science and the Deviate 403
Chapter 32. The Deviate and Social Welfare .... 408

Florence Laura Goodenough was an American psychologist and professor at the University of Minnesota 

Company: New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts

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