Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology




The general setting for this study was a typical special education site serving the severely handicapped in Los Angeles County, between the ages of three to twenty-one. The discussions refer to those individuals whose psychological evaluations , using the Stanford- Binet Intelligence Scale , the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Revised, or the Leiter International Intelligence Scale, place them within the range of the moderately retarded and cause them to warrant an educational setting that serves such individuals. The families reside in Los Angeles County and generally fall within the lower to middle economic strata , with approximately 55% qualifying for free lunch or Supplemental Social Security Income . The school is a daytime , public school facility that operates on a zero- reject philosophy . The pupils served are those that individual districts within Los Angeles County deem unservable within the district setting. They are referred to the County for their educational needs and related services.

L.A. County Schools , Division of Special Education, offers a unique opportunity for a study of the moderately mentally retarded of all types and their families. In functioning as a Program Specialist for the severely handicapped, I develop programs for the students and locate and provide support services for their families . In the six years I have been involved in these programs I have developed a keen awareness of the emotional problems of the moderately retarded and the problem of the home care and guidance of the mentally retarded child . The program to which I am presently assigned consists of approximately 160 trainable mentally retarded individuals , from ages 3 to 21. Two of the classes are for students that are both moderately retarded and visually handicapped. One class serves the moderately retarded deaf child. Four of the classes are in a specially funded program for the severely behaviorally disturbed individual.

The site has an active parent group that has facilitated the development of a unique awareness of their needs within myself and the local community .


Certain language choices and themes found within this thesis are indicative of other times and views. We realize that some material here could be harmful and/or triggering to encounter. The items are shared not without care, but out of a desire to engage with any potential value the material has as a historical item that helps us understand past contexts, assists us in the study of changes and progress over time, and a hope that by learning from our history we gain insight into attitudes that may still have impact today.

Our current values and work for standardizing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Lindenwood University can be found on the webpage of our Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Included in

Psychology Commons