I, William Cruickshank, am the founder and past director of the University’s Institute of Study of Mental Retardation and Related Disabilities. It all began when I researched children with cerebral palsy, “cerebral” referring to brain, and “palsy” relating to uncontrollable body movements. This research motivated me to start the first set of classes for children with learning disabilities, which took place in Montgomery County public school, located in Maryland. I really focused on finding an environment for these children with little distractions as possible.
After perusing in these schools, I noticed most of the children were doing poorly because they were not able to focus on school work and were highly distracted. I later came to the conclusion that these children had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In order to do this, the primary focus was to “control the learning environment in comparison to academic instruction”. After all my hard work, I was realized that I was the first person to establish a program for these students with ADHD.
After all my studies, the understanding of exceptional children with ADHD was more familiar for teachers. Training was given to those with certain responsibilities, and classrooms were fully structured by the teacher. My philosophy was to create a fair environment for these ADHD children which eliminated as many distractions as possible, and to have the classroom ran by teacher instructions.