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By Violet R. Bruce and F. H. Pedley (Auth.)

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H. , p. 6. WHO ARE THE CHILDREN WHO FAIL ? 45 with major learning difficulties will become highly intelligent and skilfully functioning members of the community. But this book is dedicated to the cause of children who are in our schools for educationally subnormal children and in special classes. They need an attitude of optimism and care from teachers who believe in their ability to educate them. Communication W e live in a culture where communication takes place primarily by means of the spoken word, a language which most children absorb from earliest days.

A teacher of a special class in a large secondary modern school, who had had experience in teaching primary children and saw how relevant some of the practical teaching methods were to the needs of her senior girls, talked to me about her desire to have a cooker, a sewing machine, painting space, and other "activity" materials in her classroom. This would be contrary to the pattern in the school where specialization was strong. How was she to give her girls the "doing" experience which she knew to be necessary and yet to avoid making them feel different or being called "infants" by ;he rest?

More and more visual aids are being brought into the classroom to augment the spoken word. Visual defect is more common in children than any other except that of dental decay. In Liverpool in 1962, 3 1 4 entrants to the nursery and infant schools had defective vision and 158 others had some form of squint. For a child who is totally blind or who has very little sight, the situation is a clear one, and, tragic as it is, that child will receive recognition and help as a handicapped person. It is important to consider the possibility of a child with slight impairment of sight having to begin school life under unrecognized difficulties, and the possible consequences of this.

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