IV. The Rise of the Institutions 1800 - 1950 B. 1850 - 1880: Make the Deviant Undeviant
 Previous Page Next Page To Menu


A private school similar to Howe's was also started in New York in 1848 under the direction of Hervey B. Wilbur. Wilbur started the school in his own home and instructed his students according to Seguin's teaching methods. Soon, a number of boarding schools for children with disabilities opened on the East Coast.

In 1852 a school for "feeble-minded youth" opened in Germantown, Pennsylvania; another opened in Albany, New York in 1855; and another in Columbus, Ohio in 1857. Training schools were considered an educational success, offering hope to many families with children with disabilities.


During this time, and before the training schools became large institutions, school superintendents had a strong educational focus. Following Seguin's teaching methods, pupils would receive physical training to improve their motor and sensory skills, basic academic training, and instruction in social and self-help skills.


The goal of this educational process was to make the pupils productive members of their communities. As parents heard of the successes of the new training schools, they wrote to state officials and school superintendents seeking admission for their sons and daughters. Some parents sought an education for their child. Others simply needed relief.