The international term "’invalid" means, from the point of view health and social services "a person with an altered capacity for work". The term used for invalid children is that of "’handicapped children", besides the official term ’’the youth requiring special care“. A defective, i.e. handicapped individual is considered to be the one whose defect has acquired social dimensions. Education of defective children as a means of maintaining and of building up social relationships is provided by special pedagogy (also called defectology, therapeutic pedagogy, rehabilitation pedagogy, special education and the like.) At a symposium in Prague in 1962 some differences in terminology were clarified. Conferences of educational representative from Socialist countries are reffered to as conferences on defectology.
Development of care for defective individuals: in the primitive society it was a question of repressive measures, under the slavery system they were used as slaves, under feudalism Christianity introduced elements of charity. Humanism of the Renaisance period searched for a humane attitude (e.g. Comenius). Capitalism introduced the exploitation of defective persons prepared for work by rehabilitation. The present socialization stage aims at social usefuhiess together widi selfrealization.
Socialization means the adjustment of relationships to society (to moral and intellectual education and to work). The highest degree is integration, a lower degree is adaptation, i.e. adjustment under certain conditions, lower still is mere social utilization (under supervision and guidance). The lowest of all is segregation, i.e. institutional care. Sensory and physical deficiencies can be made up for by intellectual reserves, not the other way about.
Prevention is essential because of the growing number of defects and defective individuals. There is an increasing number of developmental deficiencies, accidents, behaviour disorders and even didactogenous disorders. Special attention is to be paid to the so-called borderline cases: the better they take care of by the ordinary schools, the less need will there be for special schools.
Special pedagogy as a scientific field is divided into several disciplines according to the type of deficiency. In future certain shifts can be expected in the evaludon of the ways of family and school care, e.g. a shift from fully organized schools to a system of pardlel classes (apart from irreversible defects) and to the formation of school rehabilitation educational esublishments with team-work.