Sunday, May 22, 1955
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Sunday, May 22, 1955 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Eleven
NPI Treats Disturbed Children
Center Also Functions
In Training, Research
BEHIND locked doors in a wing
of the basement in University
Hospital live 35 children with se-
vere mental disorders.
The Children's Service, a part
of the Neuropsychiatric Institute,
is one of the few residential psy-
chiatric treatment centers for
children in the country today, and
is setting an important precedent.
Set up in 1949, the Children's
Service handles a wide variety
of clinical problems and is able
to treat the aggressive and de-
structive child as well as the
withdrawn and inhibited one.
"Above all, an attempt is made
to provide a milieu in which the
child will feel accepted regardless
of the level of his initial devia-
tion, and in which he can grad-
ually learn to deal with his prob-
lems," Dr. Ralph D. Rabinovitch,
chief of the Children's Service, ex-
"The total number of personnel
(52) working with the children
may seem overly large, but with-
out this opportunity for closeness
of relationship between child and
adult, an effective program is not
possible," he said.
The children who are between
the ages of six and fifteen, each
receive from three to five hours
of direct psychotherapy a week.
During the day there are regu-
larly scheduled activities. In the
classroom, as in all other activi-
ties, an attempt is made to pro-
vide a permissive and stimulat-
In addition to treating children
throughout the State on both an
in-patient and out-patient basis,
the Children's Service also func-
tions as a training and research
When the new psychiatric hos-
pital is completed the Children's
Service, which is state supported,
will be able to care for 75 children.
Adults Must Activate
A Community Feeling
Agencies Not Enough
The FIGHT against Juvenile
delinquency, if it is to be success- By serious participation in coin-
ful, can not be waged by profes- munity life, Rabinovich pointed
sional agencies alone but rather by out that he did not mean such
the total community. events as children taking over the
Building more mental hospitals local city council for a day. He
or enlarging the police force in mentioned the Michigan Youth
itself will not alleviate the situa- Advisory Council which acts as an
tion. The prevention and control advisory body for the Michigan
of delinquency is a complex prob- Youth Commission, as a successful
lem, and as such must be recog- example of South assuming re-
nized as a community problem. sponsibility positions to the bene-
What can a community do? fit of the community as a whole.
Generally, each individual par- "If you want to know what their
ent must be aware of the re- problems are, get youth together"
sources within his community, he added. He illustrated this with
and it is up to him to see that an example of a police cleanup
they are functioning properly, of gangs in a Michigan city which
The community must also rea- a local youth group pointed out
lize that the prevention of delin- would be a waste of time. A few
quency is costly. No matter how months later, after much time
expensive it is, however, it does and effort had been exerted, the
not exceed the cost of treatment police department came to the
later on for delinquents, same conclusion.
A PROGRAM geared towards "The community has ceased to
the prevention of delinquency must exist as a stabilizing force," he
include slum clearance, parentc- commented. Children from fair
education and the construction of sized cities have the lowest iden-
more schools a hichsiiallown or tification with the community. In
individualization. Existing preven- the face of unstable world in-
tive agencies must be expanded fluences today, there must be a
and improved which can be done tabiliing force within the cm-
only if the community is willing munity," he said.
to give more money. It has been suggested that the
Any program for the preven- increase in delinquency is due to
tion of delinquency must be flex- a general weakening of social con-
ible. Some of our existing ser- trols today because adults them-
vices have proven to be inade- selves are at a loss to help young
quate. We must accept this and people in defining an acceptable
look for more effective techni- relationship between themselves
ques, and the world in which they live.
For example, it has been shown The importance of youth par-
that our social workers are not ticipation in community life was
reaching the people who really emphasized by Prof. Max Hutt of
need their help. The seriously de- the psychology department. He
linquent children or disturbed pointed out that some eastern
families will not seek help or par- schools have successfully incorpor-
ticipate in the ordinary recreation- ated real community participation
al activities. within their academic programs.
In New York City they have "There is a lack of spontaneity
made a real attempt in reaching in schools today," Prof. Hutt not-
these people. The New York City ed. There is no room today for ag-
Youth Board has developed a pro- gression or sublimation within the
gram of aggressive case work in classroom.
which the social workers actually
go out to help delinquent children "A teacher cannot allow for
rather than passively waiting for much spontaneity when she has
them to seek help. New York City forty or fifty children to deal
has set an important precedent. with. The overcrowding in our
a a schools today is a problem that
MOST IMPORTANT of all, must be licked," Prof. Hutt said.
adults must participate in their Another community problem was
community and recognize youth as pointed out by Judge Jay H. Payne
responsible members of that com- of the Probate Court in Ann Arbor.
munity. If we want youth to act Many youths who leave school
as responsible citizens we must when they reach the age of six-
treat them as such. Too often the teen, are unable to find jobs, and
only way a youth is able to achieve eventually get in trouble because
recognition as an individual is of idleness. A partial answer would
through delinquent acts. be more community encourage-
"If our youth know that they ment to help these children adjst
are taking a real part in com- to school.
munity life, they will not only Ann Arbor is fortunate in hav-
release excess emotion this way, ing many fine resources to help
but will feel worthwhile and re- juvenile delinquents. But the com-
sponsible," noted Sam Rabino- munity as a whole must supple-
vitz of the Michigan Youth Com- ment this program and be willing
mission. to expand these agencies.
CHILDREN are often able to express themselves better through
painting and play during therapy with staff psychiatrists.
SEWING or knitting is often en-
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY is an important part of the total couraged for children during
program. Three adults supervise in the workshop as the children therapy sessions with psychia-
sometimes become aggressive. trists.
FISI; SNAKS and rabets gise th.e . a7:' a carer a s-
phere. The children take care of the animals and make their
Daily Pictures by Dick Gaskiil
THE TEACHING STAFF of the Children's Service uses every device to make classwork stimulating,
as most of the children have developed negative attitudes towards school.