Developmental Disorders and Broad Effects of the Environment on Learning and Treatment Effectiveness

  • James A. Mulick
  • Patricia M. Meinhold
Part of the Current Issues in Autism book series (CIAM)


The idea of providing comprehensive yet individualized teaching and therapy for children with developmental disorders and other major handicaps is, at once, as attractive as it is difficult to achieve. The historic success of American mass education, its ability to contribute to a melding of diverse cultures, required an approach that did not emphasize the differences between students, but rather emphasized their common educational objectives. In the traditional approach, students were judged by their adaptability. The curriculum was designed to encourage acceptance of widely held social values and accepted cultural practices. Lack of student achievement, even lack of engagement with the educational process, quickly led teachers and others to judge that the student had failed. People with influence, like parents and community leaders, teachers and administrators, and even those students who were more readily engaged and successful, could exert strong pressure on students who were different to adapt to the style of education that was provided; or if still unsuccessful, to exit the educational system and then avoid other settings in which school achievement was a social prerequisite. This approach presupposes that failure leads to more failure and finally to exclusion.


Mental Retardation Developmental Disorder Developmental Disability Maladaptive Behavior Apply Behavior Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Mulick
    • 1
  • Patricia M. Meinhold
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsThe Ohio State University, and The Children’s HospitalColumbusUSA

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