Volume 3, Issue 10, page 9

MOTHER discovers that her child is "different". Since time immemorial, mothers
have studied their newborn, to discover
if they are all right. Toes are handled,
one by one, and fingers. Ears are compared. Feet are studied. The shape of the
head, of the mouth, of the body. The child,
so carefully observed at birth, and for
many hours right afterward, by every member
of the immediate family but especially by
the mother, seems to be perfect. There are
sighs of relief. There is self-congratulatibu. The child looks like Papa, Mama, uncle
Bert, or Grandfather Joseph, all of whom
are, or were, upstanding people, good citizens, and normal. Since the child resembles
some sturdy member of the family, including
both healthy parents, it must be all right.

Or is it all right? Is there something
wrong about the tongue? Is it too (big for
the mouth? Is there something in the eyes
that shouldn't be there; the shape of the
lids, possibly? The mother worries. She
doesn't call the attention of the husband
and father to items that make her wonder.
If he doesn't see the differences without
help, maybe the mother just imagines them.
But then the husband begins to notice. He
frowns. He doesn't say anything, or maybe
he says too much.

There is no record anywhere, in either
family, which would make either parent expect or be fearful that there might be some
outstanding difference between their child
and other children.

But time passes.

The child doesn't start jabbering when
it should. It doesn't try to stand. There
are more pronounced items now. There is
clearly something wrong!
What is the first reaction to this discovery? In the first place, neither the
father nor mother, in all likelihood, has
ever heard that there are other children
like this in the world; certainly there
have never been any among their close relatives. If there are others in the neighborhood, they must be carefully hidden away.
The first urge of the parents is to hide
their child, to keep neighbors fran knowing
of him, or her. Their next concern may well
be to make sure that they do not again become parents. They can find no explanation
of their child. Doctors have theories, but
no proof of correctness. They say:
"Auy couple can produce a mongoloid, a
hydrocephalic, a microcephalic child. Cerebral palsy is common; caused possibly by
something occurring at birth, instrument injury, prolonged labor, something."
Should the child be placed in an institution when he becomes a problem? Are ther,
such institutions for such children?
J. BURKS W1iat & SD,one
Aiwa the gene& g'hagedie a

This concludes Mr. Burks's analysis of life in the Child Guidance Center, Lancaster, Penn.
We hope some readers have a new
EN insight into a segment of our