Box 3, Folder 16, Document 14

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Box 3, Folder 16, Document 14

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Submitted by:

Jean D. Zorn, Consultant
Mental Retardation and
Special Education
Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc.
101 Marietta Street, N. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303


Dave Roberts
Southern Education Foundation Intern
Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc.
101 Marietta Street, N. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

June 2, 1969


The need for special learning programs to meet the needs of physcially
and mentally handicapped children is a cause of concern Foe scarents and
residents in many Economic Opportunity Atlanta Target communities. Many of
these children do not meet the criteria for admission to the two programs
provided by the Atlanta City Schools. Even those who are eligible to attend
public school still have the difficulty of transportation - lack of economic
resources, and need for constant supervision. Enrollment in provate schools
in the area present the same problems even when tuition is arranged for
through scholarships. Parents are unable to pay the cost of transportation
necessary for their children to attend school,

The concept presented here seeks to point to directions a program might
take which would provide a practical learning program on a neighborhood level.

Two ideas are basic to this concept -

(1) The handicapped child is entitled to educational services within
his own neighborhood, and

(2) any program which offers a meaningful service to both parents
and children must be one in which parents are genuinely in-
volved in its policy-making and administration.

Primarily the concept is a developmental process of impacting sakants and
the handicapped children with the potential of life within the context of
the child's given Tinttactons: In operation this concept might look like
several on-going learning settings for parents, children and staff.

The ideal setting for such-a program would be a hquse in the neigh-

borhood rented or purchased, renovated and furnished to teach the life

styles practicable for the trainable mentally retarded. However, due

to the economic limitation which exist at present, an apartment in
‘ -2?-
a public hcusing project or a neighborhood church should prove

adequate for small neighborhood projects.

"The following proposal was designed with the hope of developing a pro-
gram which with modification of the number of children, staff and housing

facility, could be sponsored ty any Neighborhood Service Center."


All children are entitled to an education with the opportunity to
develop to the Limits of their individual capacity. In this respect,
education for the mentally retarded does not différ from education for
any group of children. The goals are the same: to teach the individual
to make full use of his capabilities, and to become a useful member of
his social group (i.e. all others).

In analyzing the concept of social competence, self-expression and
sel-control are the primary traits of outstanding importance. To be
able to express one's ideas in work and in play, to other individuals
and to groups, is a necessary requisite for happiness and efficiency.

Even more important is the ability to control one's self in accordance
with socially accepted standards of behavior. Self-expression without
self-control leads to chaos and confusion. With all the need for the
child to express himself, it should not be forgotten that unless at the
same time he learns self-discipline to control himself, he will not have
fulfilled his capabilities. If the mentally retarded child is to assume
a place in the community with a measure of self-reliance and self-respect,
it becomes necessary for education to provide training for some participa-
tion in productive work and to plan teaching procedures and objectives to
correspond with his needs, interests, abilities and limitations. This is
the basic philosophy underlying any educational planning for the mentally
retarded child. Z

The parents of the mentally retarded are also aititied to an education
which will enable them to better understand their child. By participating
in the program, parents will learn different ways of coping with the pro-

blems that arise in daily living. The parent-child relationship should
improve when the parent is relieved of the constant sige ytaitone se a
mentally retarded.child. The attitude of a parent toward his child
might change if he understands that mental retardation can occur in
any family, and that the mentally retarded can learn be things
which will benefit him, particularly in the area of self-care.
Representatives of the National Association for Retarded Children,
The Georgia Meche for Retarded Children, and the Atlanta
Association for Retarded Children have all expressed an interest in
and a desire to work with all parents who wish to avail themselves
of their respective services. Organizations such as these should
be the primary source of support for parents. Membership fees are

modest and the security derived from belonging to a large group with

similar problems and interests is highly satisfactory.


Ty Identification

Families having a pétatded member in need of community services
can be identified by cha Neighborhood Aides ta their regular contact with
target area families. The McBee System record should also provide this
identteleation. A community survey under the supervision of University
personnel is still another method of identification. Information should
include name of family, name,..age.and sistent child; previous community
services (if any) received by child, i.e., medical and/or psychological
evaluations, Grady Hospital ID number, local Health Center record and
neighborhood or Community program antended if any, by child.
Parental attitude toward child should also be obtained (do parents

feel child can be helped; what kinds of services do their children need,etc.)

II. Presentation to CNAC
(a) Scope of problem.
(b) Plans for parent discussion group.

(c) Progress reports should be made to the CNAC
on a continuing basis.

Initial discussion should be held with parents covering the following areas:

(a) Problems involved in obtaining services for
mentally retarded children. ,

(b) Commutrity services available for the mentally

(c) Program structure for parents.
Through weekly meetings with resource persons, parents can learn many
of the facts regarding mental retardation and may, in turn, become resource
persons themselves to their friends and neighbors. Knowledge of facts can
go a long way toward dissipating myths and superstitions surrounding the

mentally handicapped.
III. Project Structure 5

A possible structure for administering a project Such as the one
proposed could be an incorporated group of citizens seeking funds and acting
as the grantee. This group would consist of perhaps four residents of the
target community being served, three or four resource experts in the fields
of health, special education, and social services, and four parents elected
by the parents theqmedves to represent them on an annual basis. Legal
assistance in establishing necessary agency status should be sought from the
Legal Aid Society office in the target community. An alternative to this
arrangement could be with EOA acting as the grantee with a Board of Advisors
composed of the above mentioned persons. '

One adult resident of the target area should be chosen by the parents
to direct the activities of the program. This person should enroll in the
Child Growth and Development course taught at Atlanta Area Tech. This is
a ten week course in the physical, mental, emotional and social growth and
development of Sounal children. Registration fee is $5.00; class meets on
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 3:30 P.M. After completing this course,
a two-week observation at a local facility for trainable mentally retarded
children will prove most profitable.

A neighborhood learning center will provide excellent training oppor-
tunities for Neighborhood Youth Corps workers. Three such persons should
be provided for each group of fifteen children and each enrolled in the
Child Growth & Development course offered at Atlanta Area Tech.

The staff members and NYC trainees could serve as resources to the

parents in helping them to better understand their own childs' problems,

behavior, and possibilities for development. Together parents and staff

could plan learning activities in self-care skills for the children. The
children should be grouped sccordine to their particular needs and capa-
bilities. Staff and parents could also seek to understand better how to
help the child at home so as to utilize more fully the attention received
in the learning activities which take place at the center. These learning
activities would be directed toward any and all kinds of areas the child
needs (e.g. self-care skills, recreation, social interaction, academic
work, imaginal education).

Underlying the program would always ,be the idea that eee child and
parent could see themselves as significant human beings for whom possi-

bilities are open to play a meaningful part in the life of their neigh-

borhood, community and the world.

An Example in -


Program Account Form

A. To provide educational Services for trainable mentally retarded

children: and their pareve in their own neighborhood for an

Papi wench period: |


1. To provide a facility in which moderately retarded child-
ren and their parents may receive assistance in developing
ways of coping with daily living problems.

2. To provide for the training and education of each child
to the maximum of his potential for health, educational,
emotional and social growth and development.

3. To provide continous evaluation of progess made by each
child in each area of development.

4. To aid parents in understanding the problems which arise
from having a mentally retarded child in the family
through group meetings and home visits which offer
counseling and suidance: and referral services.

5. To aid parents in developing positive attitudes toward
health care and utilizing health services available to

6. To maintain continous contact with parents and assist them

in putting into practice those things learned through group
meetings. a
7. To develop a system of record keeping which will accurately

reflect progress made by child and parents.


' Page - 2

A. Children

1. This program will serve fifteen (15) moderately retarded,
children between the ages of six (6) and twenty-one (21)
years who are not presently receiving educational services
from any source.

Ze the program will operate from nine (9:00) A. M. to two (2:00)
P. M. five days a week, Monday through Friday.

3. Children will be grouped according to age and educational

4. Core content of the program will be éitered BEouHd “béhavESe
modification which will enable the child to relate positively
to his family, peer group, neighborhood and conmunity.

5. Recreation and learning tasks will be provided to develop
self-awareness, self-control and self-care.

6. Basic academic instruction will be offered to children posses-
sing the necessary intellectual potential to benefit.

7. Special health problems of individual children will be re-
ferred to the appropriate agency.

B. _Parents

ie Organize parent workshops to meet on a regular basis to
design a program for themselves. .

26 Piavide daneoudeios to parents to help them in understanding

the nature of mental retardation and the special needs of

their children.


; Page - 3

3. Introduce the concept of behavior modification and emphasize
5 e 1

the benefits which can be derived from its use by both the
child and his Santis:

4, Provide instruction in home management, family planning,
hygiene and nutrition.

5. Referral to other agencies for unmet needs in health, welfare,
vocational counseling and education.

6. Group recreational activities planned by parents and volunteers.

7. Involve parents in planning learning tasks for children to

carry out goals of their program.

A. Children will be recruited through the EOA Center staff, welfare
workers, public health nurses, and school counselors.

B. Criteria for Selection

1. Child must not be currently enrolled in an educational

2. Child must be ambulatory.
A. CNAC general advisory board will work with the Center sub- :
committees on education and health.
B. Parent Workshop group will seek to involve CNAC members and
‘members of the two sub-committees in setting general goals
and abjestives for the program. °
C. Involve patente in developing specific educational, recre-

ational and social learning tasks.

Page - 4



Other agencies involved in = program such as this will include
State and County Depariments~of Family and Children Services,

State and County Departments of Public Health, Georgia State


Department of Education - Special Education Division of Voca-

tional Rehabilitation. and local school systems,


Funds and services will be requested from the following community

1. Civic Organizations -=Civitans (local), Lions Clubs, Masons,

Kiwanis and Jaycees
2. Church Groups - Christian Counicl of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc.

3. EQOA - Neighborhood Youth Corps trainees, bookkeeping services,
bus drivers, transportation supervisors and Social Services.

4. USDA - Commodities, supplementary funds for snacks and hot

5. "Start Now Atlanta" - Volunteers to work with children, siblings
and parents in recreation and family
counseling (preferably graduate students
from local institutional departments of
Education, Pschology, Physical Education,
Sociology and Social Work).

This program will focus on parent-child relationships, education
for daily living, and home situations, '
1. Parent-child group meeting at least once a week.

2. Parents to attend daily classes as volunteer workers and
as observers.

3. Counseling for child's siblings to promote better understanding
on their part of the MR relative. ;



Children could be evaluated by parents regarding changes in

Staff could evaluate child's progress in relation to his peer


Page - 5

Volunteers could assess child's progress in recreation and social
* 1

irceraction and offer suggestions for additional appropriate act-


the Propran atodta help: the child do Becone aéberotitisel?
as a worthwhile individual, develop academic skills to the best
of his ability, become socially acceptable, develop the mechanical
and abel iectual skills necessary to function in society and help
him develop his ability to participate constructively in society.
The Program should also increase the effectiveness of intrafamily
relationships and add to the general family stability.

A. Facility

May be located in a house, an apartment in a low-cost housing
project, a day care center, the educational facilities of a neigh-
borhood church or public school. It should not be difficult to
shevide wpace for a small group of from twelve (12) to fifteen (15)
children in any of the target area neighborhoods of Atlanta. Acco-
modations should conform as closely as Beasthie with required stan-
dards of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services in
to insure maximum health and comfort of children.
B. Staff

All of the staff will be recruited from the target area in which
the students resides. All staff members who work directly with the
children will either have had formal tari work in Child Care or
be currently enrolled in such a program. The cost of the program

to funding agencies will vary depending upon the value of volunteer

work done and salaries financed from other sources.
otarring Costs _ SSeoly
Statin Costs Sala
l-Older Adult----------.-.-.----=--=---+.--.-.-=-- $3,328
3 NYC Trainees----------~--~----~----------------- 7,488
1 Bus and Driver---+------------------------------ 4,280
1 Cook---------------------------------- reccnrcee-- 1,820
Space Rental-------------------------------------- varied
UtiiGel Gg=- saeco ees eecaee cease neae ae Recess KT
Transportation Maintenance------------------------ 900
Social Security & Workmen Compensation ----------- 244
Tots crern eas $18,263

Salaries for the NYC trainees are paid by the United States Department of
Labor. Driving of the bus and supervision of the children en route to and
from school could be services donated by parents. Parents could also
volunteer to prepare and serve one hot meal each day. If program is lo>
cated in a low-cost public housing authority the Atlanta Housing Authority
could be asked to provide space on a one'dollar per year basis.

With NYC salaries and volunteer service costs deducted from the total budget,
a small neighborhood program for mentally retarded children could be operated
at a cost of approximately $5,675 per year.

According to figures supplied: by the Georgia Department of Public Health,

the cost of caring for the mentally retarded in other programs around the

state are as follows:

Program Cost per retardate per year
Residential (Gracewood) -----------9<-----------<---- $3,183
Special Education (EMR) ------------e--------2-------- 615
Special Education (IMR): =<<---2-4------+---s--<--s--- 1,000
ALL Other Community Programs <*-s+-+-<-<=<---<<=-<- --- 1,000

With a new approach effectively utilizing the services of parents, volunteers

and Neighborhood Service Centers personnel not usually considered suitable

for this type of employment, the cost per retardate per year would be approxi-

mately $378. Even if some of the services should have to be purchased from
Page - 7

parents or other target area residents, the cost per child per year
should stil be less than the cost of maintaining one educable mentally
retarded child in a ent ae school special education class.
C. Equipment and Supplies
Some of these materials will be provided by the Neighborhood
Service Center. It is expected that most of the additional needed
supplies will be made and furnished by parents. Purchase of necessary
materials will be financed through miscellaneous costs and funds
raising endeavors of the parent group for the Parent Fund.
Dd. Food, Paper Products, Cleaning Supplies
1. Surplus commodities i
2. USDA supplementary foods funds

3. Parents Fund


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