Library Collections: Document: Full Text

New York State Asylum For Idiots, Second Annual Report Of The Trustees

Creator: n/a
Date: February 10, 1853
Source: Steve Taylor Collection

Previous Page   Next Page   All Pages 

Page 11:


CASE No. 2.


A boy of 10 years old, idiotic from birth: well formed, healthy, good tempered, though somewhat passionate; he feeds himself with his fingers, not stopping to masticate his food; he is inattentive to the calls of nature; came October 29th, 1852; could not speak a word; had no idea of language, not even knowing his own name when called; would not hold anything in his hands except food; was excessively timid; he now feeds himself very well with a fork; knows his own name; will obey some simple commands; holds anything in his hands; will sit or stand still when required; can assist himself more in dressing or undressing; will pick up blocks and place them in a wheelbarrow, when commanded; will go up and down ladders when told, and takes pleasure in marching.


His father wrote, after seeing him at the end of his first three months with us: "I can truly say there was more of a change in him than I expected to see in so short a time."


CASE No. 3.


A boy 8 years old; well formed, though walking badly; healthy, and excessively irritable; feeds himself with his fingers, and has no idea of cleanliness; has a constant habit of biting his hands, and is always covered with saliva to the waist; he came October 30th, 1852; he did not speak a word, and knew the meaning of but few words, if any.


Cause -- the idiocy is ascribed by the parents to the sudden disappearance of a cutaneous disease of the scalp, when one year old.


This boy was so entirely unmanageable, when first received, that we were compelled, for awhile, to forego any attempts to govern. He had not been accustomed to wearing shoes and stockings, and he resisted all our efforts to keep them on him. He would pull them off as often as they were put on, and when his hands were confined, he would stoop down and tear them off with his teeth; he screamed regularly every day, till nearly noon; in an attempt to conquer him by holding him, I was compelled to retire from the contest vanquished, carrying the marks of his teeth in my hands for some time; I then thought I would trust to time, and the influence of the discipline of the school, to acquire control over him, taking care never to require anything of him but what I could compel him by main force to do. This course of proceeding is beginning to have the desired effect; he now obeys many little commands; is very much under the control of my will; though one of our lowest pupils, he still manifests a very decided improvement in all respects; such was the gratifying testimony of his father who lately visited him.


CASE No. 4.


A boy of 11 years old; well formed, healthy, good tempered, and cleanly in his habits; came Nov. 7th, 1851. He speaks with occasional stammering; he was slightly mischievous in his propensities; could not be taught to read or write, or count, or distinguish colors by ordinary methods of instruction; he is now reading in a class in Webb's Reader; is in our first class in arithmetic, adding simple numbers; he is in a class in geography, and quite familiar with all the leading features of several of our series of outline maps; he is in a class in drawing on the black board, and can also make any of the letters of the alphabet; he has much more confidence in himself; takes the lead in all the sports of childhood, and will unquestionably finish his education in a common school.


CASE No. 5.


A girl of 11 years old; peculiar from birth; now healthy. There is a peculiar form of the head in her case, and a slight deformity of the limbs; she came November 27th, 1851; she was quite mischievous, with a propensity to hide herself; could not be left alone with children, from a propensity to hurt them; very frank to confess her offences, and very penitent after committing them; she was excessively nervous and talked very indistinctly; she knew many of her letters, but could not read or write.


She has now been with us thirteen months; she is steadily improving in mental condition, as in all her habits; she is much less nervous; articulates much better; she has gone through nearly all of Webb's First Reader, and reads well what she does read; she is learning to form the letters in writing is studying geography and arithmetic, and I think no one who should now see her, would doubt her ability eventually to master all the common school studies of children.


Her wayward propensities have almost entirely disappeared under the influence of the constant occupation of her time; she now sews very well; assists in many little domestic matters, and will in time be capable of performing all customary household duties.


CASE No. 6.


A boy of 12 years old; very small of his age, but with an old looking face; peculiar from birth; has always been healthy.


Came May 5th, 1852; he did not speak but a few words; could not distinguish colors; had no idea of numbers, and did not know a letter. He was, in general, good tempered, though very obstinate at times.


We began with teaching him to notice distinctions of forms then of colors, He very soon began to improve in all respects, and has been jumping from one class to another, so that he will soon be in our first class in all branches.

Previous Page   Next Page

Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14    All Pages