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PSYC 3850 (88)
Chapter 1

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3850
Professor
Heidi Bailey
Semester
Winter

Description
Understanding Intellectual Disabilities – Chapter 1 - Some developmental differences may be so subtle at one point o Don’t attract attention o Become more evident at another developmental time - What is considered developmental limitation by one profession at one point may not be by another - Perceptions of what is normal vary widely over time and b/w disciplines Historical Perspectives - Diverse concepts and varying characteristics have influenced different descriptions of people w/ intellectual disabilities, depending on society’s views and situational influences during any given time period - The fluidity of the concept is due to a variety of reasons o Economic, social, and political climate influences of various cultures throughout history - Before 1800 o Having an intellectual disability not considered urgent social problem  Those w/ severed intellectual disabilities either killed or died of natural causes at an early age o Drain on society and target for elimination (till recent mid-1900s) o Those w/ mild intellectual disabilities could function well in agrarian society  Earliest reference 1552 BC; some evidence pre-dating this time o Severe head injuries common, resulting in abnormal behaviour o Brain surgeries had been performed w/ intention to cure abnormal behaviour  On assumption that evil spirits cause strange behaviour  Opening a hole in the skill permitted them to escape  Resulted in diminished intellectual ability - SES conditions influenced understanding and treatment o Mental and physical = disgrace b/c of stigma o Economic drain - Political authority – force in determining the lot of people w/ intellectual disabilities o 6 C – Pop Gregory I instructed the faithful to help crippled o Referred to as idiots th o 12 C – King Henry II – natural fools  Distinguished b/w those w/ intellectual disabilities and those w/ mental illness - Reproductive sterilization - Study by Henry Goddard – Revolutionary War soldier Martin Kallikak o Fathered a child w/ a barmaid and later w/ a “normal” person o One doomed for life as a degenerate; other destined to be successful o Fostered sterilization movement  For fear of intellectual disabilities - People w/ intellectual disabilities in institutions were viewed as permanent residents o Not trained for return to society o Solution for preventing a problem citizen Disciplines and Professions Disciplines Perspectives and Contributions - Multiple professions involved in the field of intellectual disabilities Terminology - Term perceived thru Western lenses, in which constancy, regularity, and predictability are assumed - Moved to fluid conceptualization o Biomedical causes as well as environmental and social factors o Change due to advances in natural and social sciences, economics, and use of less pejorative terms - Wide range of behaviour - Label of fact and label of conjecture o Fact – quantifiable and verifiable  Observed characteristics determined by biomedical disagnosis  Tay-Sachs, down syndrome and anencephaly o Conjecture – concepts only hypothesized  Only 20% of intellectual disabilities caused by medical factors; 80% is uncertain  Incidence of mild ID higher among people from low SES - Framework used to describe ID affects society’s perception of nature and extent of the challenge - Orientation of discipline affects view of people w/ ID Contributions of Biological and Medical Sciences - Physician – first medical profession to identify diagnosis o View from physiological perspective limited o Limit effectiveness of counseling - Medical research – locates causal factor - Advances in genetics allow professionals to prevent many forms of intellectual disabilities o Positive and negative outcomes - Some ID preventable before conception o Carriers of defective genes - Psychiatry – American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMID, now AAMR) o Limited view of the spectrum of IDs Contributions of the Behavioural Sciences - Each field has operated independently, w/I confines of own terms - Psychology – most involved o Three important areas it had contributed  Intelligence theory and testing  Learning theory research  Interpersonal social aspects o Knowledge would not have progressed w/o data and knowledge generated by experimental psychology - Anthropology – adaptation of people w/ ID to their environments (Edgerton) o Qualitative research, emphasizing the observation and recording of information about people in their natural environment o Provides useful info to complement existing knowledge base - Sociology – need to view ID from sociological perspective rather than clinical o Full contribution remains untapped - The law o Legal profession operates in an adversarial role o Procedural changes made Contributions of Education - Educators face multidisciplinary needs of those w/ ID - Provide effective research-based instruction - Contributions of education in aiding the understanding of ID has been to o Identify needs  Earliest efforts of education  First intelligence test – Alfred Binet o Stimulate research and theory o Coordinate and deliver instruction and related service - Alfred Binet intelligence test – determine which child will fail in school and need special help o Measurement of intelligence has been influenced by educational  Influenced largely by educational needs rather than interest in the discipline - Educators are the catalyst core, stimulating the efforts of the disciplines and then using their findings for the betterment of society Disciplinary Collaboration - Need collaboration b/w disciplines to be successful - Bridge gaps among their perspectives - Two factors have prompted this progress o People w/ intellectual disabilities being served are the ultimate benefic
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