Special Education ETDs

Publication Date



The purpose of the present investigation was to identify the kinds of facilities and rehabilitative opportunities available for children. Further purposes were to determine, more precisely, what New Mexico facilities offer parents and their children displaying emotional problems. The third purpose was to determine how New Mexico’s few existing facilities are similar or different from those of their counterparts in 23 other states (funding staff composition, and programs). It was the intent of the present investigation to provide an overview of the emotionally disturbed child's rehabilitative opportunities and to conceptualize on the resources each setting has to offer a child in question. To extend this intent, New Mexico was the primary target of concern as to what services it offers the state's residents. The research subjects consisted of those therapeutic environments listed in the U.S. Facilities and Programs for Children with Severe Mental Disorders directory. The major area of consideration was geographical - consisting of all states west of the Mississippi River, including Alaska and Hawaii. Descriptive data was compiled through the instrumentation of a questionnaire designed to respond to the stated research findings. The following findings were acquired through this investigation:

1. New Mexico environments were functioning at or above capacity level.

2. New Mexico environments did not indicate any outside sources of funding.

3. All New Mexico environments were dissatisfied with their operating budget.

4. New Mexico public schools exhibited the lowest operating budget when compared with their counterparts from 23 other states.

5. New Mexico public schools indicated no accommodations for children that exhibited the following problems: physically handicapped, not self feeding, not self dressing, demonstrable brain damage, and preschool children exhibiting emotional problems.

6. All environments indicated little or no employment of the following professionals on a full time basis: Child Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Special Therapists, Speech and Hearing Therapists, Registered Nurses, Pediatricians, and Social Workers.

7. New Mexico environments exhibited little or no involvement of parents of emotionally disturbed children. Services for parents were limited and mandatory cooperation was not employed.

The results of the present investigation provided implications for five major recommendations. Recommendations were specifically directed toward improvements for the state of New Mexico. The recommendations consisted of: further development and research of therapeutic environments; increased support and financial aid; expansion of staffing services; mandatory parent participation; parent services; and increased parent information.

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Richard Lane McDowell

Second Committee Member

Eloy R. Gonzales

Third Committee Member

Roger Lee Kroth