Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The development of the infant from birth to four years will approximately parallel the stages of development of the profoundly retarded children enrolled in the Development Centers for Handicapped Minors ( DCHM ) in California. The retarded child is a human being and may be assumed to have the same basic equipment as the normal child. If we expand and prolong the development stated of the normal child we will be able to lead the DCHM child through these states in slow motion to insure progress.
To develop a curriculum, an assessment of the abilities of the child was necessary. A screening device as designed to measure the development of the child in four areas --- Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Social, and Language.
Skills leading towards ambulation were included in the Gross Motor area; skills leading toward manipulation of objects in space were included in the Fine Motor area; skills leading toward independent living were included in the Social area, while skills leading to improvement in communication were included in the Language area. Tasks in the Social area were divided into sub-groups of social interaction, feeding, dressing, and toileting. Language included two sub-groups – Receptive Language and Expressive Language.
Over 800 tasks were reviewed from 18 sources. Three hundred and fifty-nine tasks were finally chosen on the basis of criteria established. The tasks were to be observable, describable, and development. The tasks were then arranged into areas mentioned above and then into levels of development. Twenty-two levels of development were necessary to show the progress of development sufficiently to be useful in the DCHM.
The tasks were organized so that the teacher could determine the child developmental level of the child with very little demand on the child. Most of the assessment could be done by observation or with knowledge of the child already possessed by the teacher. A card for recording the progress and the assessment of the child was designed that would also give the teacher a graphic picture of the level of the child and would also keep an ongoing record of the progress of the child with little interruption of the normal activities in the classroom.
Each of the 359 tasks was listed on a separate 5X8 Activity Card. Each Activity Card included the abbreviated description of the task, the area, the level, and a three character code designed for that task. Under this information, a behavioral description of the task was given. Next, the tasks expected at the next level were listed, and then suggested classroom activities associated with the next level were given.
The Activity Card was designed so that when a teacher observed a new behavior in a child, he could refer to the card on file to note the level and area of the behavior and plan lessons or activities accordingly. A Gestalt of all tasks is included in the Appendix.
The tasks selected were from recognized source and because of this, no effort was made to standardize the results. There were three purposes for this study: (1) To provide a tool for the teachers in the DCGM that would allow them to look at the developmental levels of the children; (2) To assess the functioning level of the children; and (3) To provide information about the curriculum suitable for the various levels of development.