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Later the programs such as, "black is beautiful," are attempting to undo what has already been established.
When is it that the child is experimenting with feelings of hurting, physical violence, and so on? Beginning in the first year of life, the first steps are made, but in the second year of life, the child is very actively looking for models, and help in dealing with aggressive feelings, such as hurting, hostility, as well as violent ways of creating movement in other people.
What are the child's models? If we was brought up in an atmosphere. where there is mostly violence as a predominant pattern in relationships, he learns from the closest people he has to deal with every day. When he goes down into the street, what are his models?
If these are his only models, these often become the patterns available to him in expressing his own feelings. If we don't give him any other models so that he has a choice, by the time the character patterns are established, by three, and four, and five, he already has a built-in pattern of violence in relationships and having needs that have resulted because he has had no alternatives.
If we made another kind of experience available to him early in his life, such as in some of these day care patterns provided in this measure, at least we are making available to the child some other possible way of relating to people, some other possible way of dealing with his feelings, some other possible way of having his needs met. Senator MONDALE. What about equality in educational opportunity? I talked with a black educator the other night who is a principal of a predominantly minority school, but one in which there are about 20 percent middle-class urban white.
And he said in the sixth grade, the average black is at about the 31⁄2 grade level in basic skills. The average white is at the 11th grade level.
Now how can they sit along side each other at that point and stand it? How can the teacher cope with it? And does quality development preschool assistance offer some answer to that tragedy?
Even at Berkeley, which is considered one of the best school systems in the world, and where they are trying integration with a full heart, and with community support, which they undertook voluntarily, not under court order, the black children are doing much better than they were, and so are the white, but that gap is still there. It's not as enormous, as this one, but it's a four or five grade gap in the eighth grade in the average, basic skill levels.
Is part of the answer to be found-of course Dr. Jensen has his reasons but is part of the reason to be found in the starvation of necessary assistance in disadvantaged?
Dr. LOURIE. There is no question that we are asking that the schools do superman types of jobs, with almost impossible situations, very often, that are the result of the neglected early years.
In other words, we have passed the optimal period for development of many of the skills. The doors have been closed to many of these children by the time they have gotten to school.
Where this was most striking, and this is my own personal motivation to get in there and start working with the babies, were the findings that emerged from the President's Panel on Mental Retardation which John Kennedy called together. It was found that we have
a higher percentage of retardation than almost any other country in the civilized part of the world-3 to 5 percent.
In other countries, where there are programs for early child care, there is reported only one-tenth of 1 percent of the population is retarded. In other words, we were creating the retardates with our lack of early life programs.
Seventy-five percent of the retardation in this country-that is, as we measure it with our inadequate tolls-is on a functional basis, on the basis of distorted experience or lack of appropriate experience in the early years.
The kind of approach you outline in this bill has the promise of moving in on that whole area of the drain on our country's resources. This is true not only of the human resources but it ends up with influence on the economic resources, because these are individuals who are the drain on the community, the uneducable; who become the unemployed, et cetera.
I am most concerned with those who become the hopeless, helpless, apathetic, passive, dependent individuals. I am not nearly as concerned about the delinquents, even though they are a problem with which the community must be concerned. At least the delinquents have enough energy, have enough capacity to try to do something about their survival needs, and to make a place for themselves.
What we often don't see until they get to our mental hospitals is the apathetic, passive, dependent, hopeless, helpless child who grows up into the hopeless, helpless, adult, and can end up as the unavailable mother or father.
Also, we have to face the fact that we are creating, with technology and scientific approaches, an increasingly complex world in which we are asking human beings to adjust. There are much more rapid types of communication, transportation, technological innovations in industry and so on.
We need more and more individuals who are flexible enough, not warped into rigid patterns, to be able to encompass and adjust to, live with, contribute to, be part of, these new dimensions that are being created for them as a life style.
There is serious thinking among some of the future-oriented child development research people that maybe we can't trust the family alone to prepare young children for this new kind of world which is emerging. That is one of the directions in which the Soviets, too, are looking, which is one of the reasons why they felt that they needed to have access to the babies.
Maybe we need to think of education as starting in the first year of life. There is a new field evolving called infant education. Education starts really at the beginning of life. What we need to educate children for may indicate in the future that we need additional kinds of experience outside the home that babies can profit from, in addition to the fundamental learning experiences that take place within the home.
In other words, infant day care that provides a rich individualized experience for a child is possibly one of the things that we should aim for. Again, it is one of the things that would be made possible by a measure of this kind.
Senator MONDALE. Do the ravages of mental illness, emotional disturbance, and mental retardation strike disproportionately the children of the disadvantaged?
Dr. LOURIE. Well, it depends on how you define mental illness. You will find observers who will deny that the effects of deprivation and lack of opportunity should be called mental illness.
Maybe, rather than putting it in the form of mental illness, should we talk about the capacity to adjust in society, the capacity to create opportunities or to fit into opportunities. These capacities only too often are more difficult to achieve in the individual who has grown up in the disadvantaged parts of our communities. This leaves out the labels that one might give an individual, who could be called something different depending on who was describing him, such as whether it was a sociologist or a psychiatrist of whatever.
Senator MONDALE. Your Joint Commission on Mental Health of Children, of course, issued a long report. And I was wondering whether its recommendations were such that it could be said they are supportive of the approach which this bill takes?
Dr. LOURIE. There were three categories in the recommendations of the Joint Commission, and you will be interested to know that the first of them was comprehensive child services.
Senator MONDALE. That was the first recommendation?
Dr. LOURIE. That was the first group.
It's purpose is to maintain the health and adjustment potentials of every child.
The second category was the corrective and remedial services that are necessary to deal with those children who have already developed distortions or difficulties which handicap the child.
The third was the creation of a system that could insure that services would be available. This is what has been called the child advocacy system.
Everybody determines his own priorities about which of these three categories are most important.
But there is the agreement that these three were the major emphases that needed to be made for the future programs.
Senator MONDALE. Early childhood and comprehensive services for the child who needs it especially, and a system for child advocacy, were the core recommendations?
understand the Commission report has a short summary. Maybe that is what you suggested be placed in the record?
Dr. LOURIE. Well, it's prefatory material to the report. Senator MONDALE. We will put the summary of the Joint Commission's report in the record following Dr. Lourie's testimony.
It's interesting that the recently concluded White House Conference on Children, in a very unique and weighted vote of all the delegates, ended up with a very strong recommendation which gave top priority to the preschool comprehensive children's services. Without assigning priorities, it's very clear that your Commission came up very strongly with the same recommendations.
Dr. LOURIE. Yes, I think there was considerable feed-in from the Joint Commission studies to the background material for the White House Conference. Understandably. Five to six hundred of the most knowledgeable people about children's programs contributed their thinking to the Joint Commission's recommendations, and many of them were involved, of course, in the White House Conference formulations.
It has been most reassuring that there has been this kind of confirmation of the needs and findings, as pointed out by the Joint Commission.
Of course, many of the Joint Commission recommendations are highlighting still again the kinds of things that we have been saying for many years. The educators tell us that people have to hear things at least three times before it is theirs.
(The information referred to follows:)
CRISIS IN CHILD MENTAL HEALTH:
CHALLENGE FOR THE 1970'S
The Joint Commission on
Mental Health of
This document was published by the Joint Commission on Mental Health of Children, 1700 Eighteenth