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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: August 2009

4 - Multicultural aspects of pediatric neuropsychological intervention and rehabilitation


It is important to examine the precursory roots and historical foundations of neuropsychological rehabilitation in order to foster greater appreciation of our present state and future direction as a field, providing a better context for multicultural perspectives. This rich history spans across cultures and includes views of disability and interventions. José León-Carrión (1997) provides a partial yet eloquent chronology. He notes that some of the oldest discoveries of treatment for brain damage date back to the Mesolithic Age. Skulls were discovered with holes on their left side that appear to be a form of surgical intervention called trephination. Egyptian sorcerers utilized “supernatural” techniques to rid the body of ailments and demons. Hippocratic physicians noted brain-behavior connections underpinned by the brain housing one's intelligence, regulating a majority of body functions, allowing one to experience emotion and make judgments. In keeping with tradition, Hippocratic physicians used trephinations for the treatment of selected mild brain injuries.

The first hospitals and convalescence homes for the treatment of physical lesions were founded in 499 to 429 BC Greece, which demarcates an important shift in the treatment of illness in Western societies. Previously, children born with deformities were displayed in public places, or were thrown off Mount Taigeto. In Imperial Rome, it was acceptable to take the life of children who were born with any physical lesion, abandon them, or release them into the River Tiber in flower baskets.

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