Superstitions and ideals of modern special psychology
The article presents an analysis of modern trends in the change of special psychology as scientific knowledge and practice-oriented branch of science in relation to its initial attitudes, given by cultural-historical psychology. The text is based on a comparison of modern representations about the ideals of studying children with developmental disabilities and psychological assistance to them, on the one hand, and the original position of special psychology, on the other. The analysis touches upon the main categories of research and practice of a psychologist who helps children with developmental disabilities: the subject, the methods used, the concept of mental development, understanding the dichotomy "normal – abnormal development", psychological practice. The authors express concern over the growing tendency to reduce the representation of normal and abnormal mental development of a child as a complex and multilevel process of qualitative transformation of functional organs (systems), that are of social origin, to their external manifestations (behavior) or physiological activity of the body (brain).
On the subject of special psychology
The article deals with the problem of the subject of special psychology. It’s actualized that the collective definitions of its subject by listing the categories of persons studied or types of abnormal development is not sufficient. The necessity of referring to the theoretical frame of special psychology – the cultural-historical psychology by L.S. Vygotsky. Special psychology is understood as a branch that studies the laws, patterns and dynamics of abnormal mental development, as well as the conditions for its correction. It indicates the presence of its own method – experimental-genetical method, which is both research and practical. The understanding of special psychology as a psychological practice is substantiated.
The concept of "psychological diagnosis" and its application in the diagnostics of abnormal mental development
The article is devoted to the problems of psychological diagnosis of developmental disorders in children. It is emphasized that the main task of psychological diagnostics is to develop the way of practical assistance to a particular child, taking into account the unique picture of his development. The concept and levels of psychological diagnosis are analyzed from the standpoint of the cultural-historical approach – symptomatic, functional and systemic. The importance of relying in the process of psychological diagnosis of abnormal development on ideas about age norms and the psychological structure of the defect is noted. Approaches to the dichotomy "normal – abnormal development" are analyzed. The concept of the age norm as a socio-cultural model is defined. The concept "psychological structure of the defect" is revealed. The stages of psychological diagnostics of abnormal development and the use of assistance in the process of its implementation are described.