Thursday 3 November 1994

Learning-impaired youth

Dr Arthur Hurst


Chair / Président: Cordiano, Joseph (Lawrence L)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente: Poole, Dianne (Eglinton L)

Acting Chairs / Président suppléants:

*Callahan, Robert V. (Brampton South/-Sud L)

*Crozier, Bruce (Essex South)

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND)

*Frankford, Robert (Scarborough East/-Est ND)

*Marchese, Rosario (Fort York ND)

*Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC)

*Martel, Shelley, (Sudbury East/-Est ND)

*O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York ND)

Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND)

*Tilson, David (Dufferin-Peel PC)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

Sutherland, Kimble (Oxford ND) for Mr Bisson

White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND) for Mr Perruzza

Clerk / Greffier: Decker, Todd

Staff / Personnel: Anderson, Anne, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1009 in committee room 2.


The Acting Chair (Mr Robert V. Callahan): Good morning. We have before us Dr Hurst. You may recall, those members who were on the committee, and I notice there are a few new smiling faces around here this morning, that I had requested that Dr Hurst have an opportunity to address this committee with specific reference to the question of learning-disabled children, or whatever is the appropriate term to use with reference to them.

Dr Hurst is here with his good wife, who is sitting back in the first row, along with a friend of mine -- we'll put her on Hansard too -- Diva Anderson. She is interested in this issue.

Dr Hurst very kindly delayed his trip to Arizona, where he and his wife go -- lucky people -- about this time of the year and return, I guess, when the spring bursts forth. We thank you for that, Doctor.

The committee has been looking into -- we have in fact just completed a report on corrections where we discovered that 80% of the young offenders who are locked up in custody are learning-disabled, which to me says we've dropped the ball someplace and we're allowing these kids to slip through the cracks.

We've heard about your particular type of project and we'd like you to now have an opportunity to perhaps explain to the committee what it was, who you were associated with, and what could be done in terms of our jurisdiction to incorporate that into our particular approach in trying to deal with this very difficult problem.

I've taken the chair just to introduce you. Dianne Poole, who is the Vice-Chair, will take over the chair now. We'll play musical chairs afterwards, when you get back into the House.

Anytime you want to start, Dr Hurst, perhaps you could just formally identify yourself for the purposes of the record. We always like to keep people's names and words for posterity. Some day somebody might read through all this stuff and want to know who we were.

Dr Arthur Hurst: This is a great privilege, ladies and gentlemen, to discuss this very important subject with you this morning. For the last 30 to 40 years I have been trying to get the powers that be to look seriously at this subject. It's being looked at in the United States, but in Canada it looks to me as if they would sooner take an incarcerate and pay $100,000 a year to keep him safe and secure, when they are showing that the recidivism rate in the United States is being reduced by 83%, from 60% down to approximately 10%. It doesn't make sense to me, and I hope it doesn't make sense to you.

Let's look at two areas whereby the programming of the brain -- because this is what we're talking about: How is this brain of ours programmed? Is it programmed by genetics -- father, grandfather, great-grandfather etc -- or is it programmed by the sense modalities? Do genetics dictate function? If you believe this, that this is true, I would be very happy to have you explain these two experiments. I'll be extremely brief on them, though I could talk for about the next half-hour anyway on these two experiments, they're so fantastic.

The first one is the wolf boy of India. This isn't a Rudyard Kipling tale whatsoever; this actually happened. A den of wolves kidnapped a young Indian boy and brought him up. At 11 years of age he was found outside of Lucknow in a coma, and they took him in. They never did make this boy human. He remained a wolf until he died at the age of 24, which is about the average age a wolf dies in captivity. They had to put him in a cage. A nurse tried to hand in some food to him and he sank his teeth into her arm. After that, of course, she put it in by means of another method.

If genetics dictates function, it would seem that somewhere along the line a wolf gene crept into the picture, but obviously that's a little more fantastic than I care to speculate on. So why did this young boy develop the way he did, if he was a human being and he had all the human being's attributes through genetics? That's number one.

Number two is the bee experiment. Do you believe that the lower creatures are dictated to by genetics; in other words, that they are programmed for what they do? Obviously, every one of us has, up until this experiment, believed that. What they did was to place bee food a certain distance from the hive. They waited and waited. Finally, one bee came, went back to the hive and got the rest of the bees and brought them over to the food.

They then placed the food one and a half times farther in a straight direction from the hive along this line they had established. There were a few more bees at that time, but nothing spectacular whatsoever. The same thing happened: They went back to the hive and got the rest of the bees.

Then they placed it one and a half times that distance, and guess what? The bees were there waiting en masse right at that point. They had it all figured out.

Now a prominent entomologist says, "I wish they hadn't done this, because now I'm going to have to revise my entire thinking with regard to lower creatures." Lower creatures do reason. Since this experiment, there have been other writings on this particular subject. We have a brand-new situation here.

There are other areas of investigation. Dr Harry Silverman -- I had hoped Harry might be here this morning. He is with the educational research department at the University of Toronto. I hope some of you have that little sheet which lists the members of our committee. We are extremely fortunate, and I would like to pay tribute to these people who have for the last five years donated their time to this particular area of expertise.

Dr Harry Silverman says the correlation between genetics and actual function within the school -- and of course when we speak of genetics the taking of an IQ test comes upwards in mind. The kid is then given a number. If genetics dictates this, why is the correlation between what they find and how the kid performs academically so low? I haven't time, really, go to into all this area, but it's a very fascinating one, let me tell you.

J. McVeigh Hunt -- some of you perhaps may have heard of him -- wrote a massive book about 20 years ago on intelligence and experience. He comes to the same conclusion.

The greatest single cause of delinquency and juvenile crime is school failure. One of the best articles written on this subject is by a former court psychiatrist, Dr Alan Davidson of Muskoka. I think you have a copy of that. It's a gem and it will give you a great insight into what is happening within our society today.

It is important to recognize that in terms of the sense modalities, vision, auditory, tactile, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory, their individual performances and coordinations with each other are of prime importance if academic success is to be achieved.

Is there anyone who is not familiar with those senses and the terms I have used to describe them?

The other thing I would bring to your attention is the near point factor. You have some photographs in front of you which were just given to you this morning. I would ask you to take a good look at those. They are also real gems. One is of the little child who is grasping at the trinket in front of him. The other is the school girl who is working. Would you like to guess the distance those two are looking at their point of regard? It's somewhere between four, five, six, seven inches, in that area. This is the important area. This is where learning begins.


This study was done by myself in Newmarket, Ontario, and we went through over 1,000 kids. The findings were: In grades 1, 2 and 3, the average was about six inches. One grade 2 class was four and a half inches. You have the picture of that class there, which I have placed before you.

Eye vision practitioners take near point findings of 13 to 16 inches. School MOHs use the 20-foot Snellen distance chart only. It has been known since 1948, around then, that the distance chart within our school system is absolute garbage. When we come to assess kids' vision, there is absolutely no correlation between that Snellen chart at 20 feet and the way the kid performs. As a matter of fact, it would make far more sense if they took the kids who failed, because these are the kids who perform better in the classroom. The group that took this back in 1948 found exactly the same thing. The workers who performed the best were those who failed the 20-20 vision chart in the distance.

In this study we did, we found that girls performed much better than boys. Now what is the reasoning behind this?

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): It's lifelong, isn't it?

Dr Hurst: That doesn't come as any surprise today, really. I'm going into this a little further.

The females are so far outperforming the males that it's become a tragedy within our society today. This is what I found over the last 20 to 30 years in the studies I have done.

Why the difference? Girls are brought up to excel at the near point. This may stand water or not, but this is a very good explanation. The mother takes the young girl and keeps her closer to her, teaches her sewing, knitting, all the near point areas, and the girls are trained there. What do the boys do? They're kicked out of the house and put out to play football, baseball, hockey and all these things that don't have any meaning to the very near point, which is four to six inches. In other words, the boys have distance training.

As I say, that comes right off the top of my head and it may not be valid; there may be other things which are contributing to this. But these are facts that are given.

The importance of sense modality coordination in the prevention of school failure, delinquency and crime: What is the present state of affairs? Continuous failure over the years from primary grades through to high school has forced one third of our school population to drop out of school at the nearest opportunity. This is from the minister of youth in the federal cabinet. I think some of you have seen this particular pronouncement to the school trustees. This was given out in western Canada and was raised through all the newspapers throughout Canada. One third of these kids are now dropping out.

If you think this is bad, look at the Wall Street Journal headlines and the New York Times headlines just recently, over the last two or three months. Fifty per cent of the citizens of the United States are illiterate. These were headlines in two of the largest newspapers in the world.

This is a statement by Dr Papke, director of education of Muskoka: "Increasing numbers of children are entering schools with social and learning difficulties. School boards have directed programs for them but the success rate is unsatisfactory and the growing number of children `at risk' is discouraging."

Berman and Siegal, neuropsychologists, in their report some 20 years ago to the Rhode Island Crime Commission, stated, "After 70 years of trying the best methods known to psychology, psychiatry and other areas -- after 70 years of utter failure, we must think we may be using the wrong approach to the problem." I haven't put this down, but he adds another remark in which he states, "Even a rat in a maze knows enough to try another door after failing on one door."

Causes of failure: Anything that creates lowered sensory-motor coordination.

(1) Medical factors, that is, disease etc. These only account for 2% to 5% of brain-nerve-muscle upsets.

(2) The lack of foetal-preschool sense modality sensory motor stimulation. This has been brought to the fore by Dr Thomas Verny. Mark well that name. He is a psychiatrist from Sick Kids' hospital here in Toronto and he has written three major books on this: Secrets of the Unborn Child, Training the Unborn Child, Parenting the Unborn Child. Each one of these are gems. You will gain more information on what is happening in the foetus from these books than anything else that you can read to date.

(3) Excessive TV viewing, the use of VDTs, computers, calculators before the child's brain has been trained. I disagree completely with what they're doing within our schools today. These children should be trained to the top degree before they are introduced to these VDTs they are surrounding them with at the present time.

All of these interfere with correct brain programming.

I spent 20 years with Dr Marshall McLuhan. I've been publishing my studies since 1950 and he read some of these studies and invited me to partake in his centre. It has been the most fantastic period of my life to be associated so closely with this man. He of course has written a book, Understanding Media. You should try and get a copy of this and look at what is happening in the television area. The first five or six paragraphs in there are on my study, the near point working distance of the public school child, and then he goes on from there. I won't bother going into all of this, but I would urge each and every one of you to take a look at his book. It is being republished, by the way, and it's well worth browsing through it.


One of the things that happened with Marshall is that there were so many people who were saying that "The medium is the message" really doesn't mean what it says. Spending just a minute on this, everything we have made out there is a product of one or more of the sense modalities. You name it: Anything that is built, these desks and so forth, are made by referring to sense modalities of the human body. If something is being broadcast or put to you via one of those sense modalities out there, it means nothing to you unless that relates directly to one of your sense modalities. Under those circumstances, "The medium is the message" comes through loud and clear.

Swartz and Krugman -- Krugman was with General Electric -- set out to dispel McLuhan's theories. In fact, what he did was conduct investigations on brainwave measurements while the individual was reading and while they were watching television. With reading, there were all kinds of brainwave activities; with television, no activity, no brainwave measurements. So this is what's happening when your child watches television: There is no activity. The sensory motor activity that is so important to learning is being dispelled.

Academic skills since TV have declined. Wirtz, former Secretary of Labor in the United States, stated this in 1977. Worthington of Trent University and Pamela Tames all today say it. Eighteen thousand hours are spent by the average child in front of television by the age of 16. In the watch period, as I have stated, motor activities are eliminated.

What are the costs of failure? The minister of youth in the last federal cabinet stated that over a 10-year period the cost to maintain school dropouts across Canada will total $30 billion. It therefore makes good sense to try assessment and coordination training and brain programming by sense modality as the prevention method. We've already stated that it costs close to $100,000 for one inmate. If you save only three to four children from going into this, you will pay for this program for one entire year. That's all: Save three to four children and your costs are made up in that time.

Talking about the foetus, the brain is programmed from the third, fourth, and fifth months after conception by the sensory input of the sense modalities, and I've already spoken of Thomas Verny and his Secrets of the Unborn Child etc. The brain itself, they have found, with human beings in a human environment, is not hard-wired. Changes can be made in this at almost any age.

What are the recommendations? Funding therefore must be secured from the federal and provincial governments in which communities will be helped to establish promising programs in their areas. It is therefore suggested that boards of education set up an assessment training room in which parents, future and present, along with special education staff, be trained to manage the coordination treatment of these preschool children. This treatment room can be copied by parents and established in their own homes.

The treatment room contains equipment much of which can be easily and cheaply constructed by a carpenter, for under $10 on some of these. It's amazing what can be done in this particular area. The remainder is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased from an optical company. As a matter of fact, I have now contacted optical companies in the States that manufacture and make and sell, and they are willing to lend this equipment to any one of these units that can be set up. They will lend it.

It is important, of course, that a functional optometrist -- and I draw that from the average optometrist out there -- be consulted in this particular area and process. Many of these have training rooms in their own offices.

The above plan -- this is an extremely important area -- has been in operation at the San Bernardino juvenile hall in California for the past 12 years. The original plan was set up by Dr Kaseno on a federal Washington grant. Recidivism, as I mentioned, was cut 83% -- from 60% to 10%. In 1984, the annual National Outstanding Project Award was given to this program by the American Public Health Association in Washington. Millions of dollars were saved in this one unit alone over those 12 years; thousands upon thousands of kids, average age from 14 to 16 years old, by the way, in this one unit. However, the real saving was in the lives of young people themselves. No price can be put on that.

At the present time, the Muskoka Board of Education under Dr Papke -- and how we were able to entice a gentleman of this calibre to our area is beyond me. He holds a doctorate in special education and he is extremely well-tuned-in to this. I hope he stays with us for a period of time. Dr Papke is already trying to set up this unit. Of course we have no funds, and this is the big problem. But they are all ready to go, providing funding can be secured from the federal and provincial governments in this particular area. The Victoria board in Lindsay is also ready to establish a program, providing funds can be secured.

I would strongly suggest that a third unit be considered. A juvenile incarceration unit should be thought of in conjunction with this and the three run at the same time. In this way, invaluable information can be secured.


We have some important areas for discussion. I hope we have time for that, but perhaps we may not.

Reasons for female superiority in academic function, and we've already talked about it a bit: The correlation of reading and vision factors in grades 1, 2 and 3: By the way, when we combined these factors with the reading factors, girls were significant at the 1% level, which is one of the highest correlations you can get. As far as the boys are concerned, the correlations were either zero or non-significant. We weren't able to get good correlation factors there at all as far as the boys were concerned.

This shows that researchers should never combine. If you're thinking of doing anything combining girls and boys, don't do it, because they cancel each other out and you come up with a study which is meaningless.

I would ask you to take a good look at those photos that I passed around. It provides the real meaning of the near point distance. They are real gems. Please keep them for your own files.

You may have more thoughts on genetic endowment of function. IQ tests are not valid and they should be completely discontinued. The use of the look-say method of teaching reading must stop. TV has changed the sense ratio. Instead of the emphasis on vision, television has dropped that down into the auditory, tactile, and kinaesthetic or movement sense of the body. Therefore, teaching should be along those lines.

One vital area of enclosure, which some of you got before, is the assessment items. There is one page there that contains 42 assessment items -- I'm not going to go through those today -- plus the 92-item full examination assessment page.

It is important not to pass judgement on the child until this achievement level is known in this area. You must get the figures for this area before you do any other assessment or thinking about the child. Once this is established, training can begin immediately.

There is one thing I would like to add before I close. This is a pamphlet, and the heading is The Teacher Who Couldn't Read. It's one of the saddest documents you will ever read. I would like to read a portion of the last page. He is talking to his class because he has decided to come clean after 17 years in the classroom being unable to read:

"I picked up my 11 typewritten pages. `I am a graduate of a university, with a bachelor's degree in education and business administration. I have completed graduate hours in education, economics, and sociology at four major universities. I attended school 35 years, half of those years as a professional educator. Yet, in acquiring these experiences, I could not read a textbook or write an answer to an essay question. I have been a functional illiterate for almost 50 years.

"`I have taken the necessary steps and am making the commitment to personally overcome my lifelong handicap. I am a developing literate. I must pray and act to accomplish my goal -- to become totally literate. I invite you to actively join me on the front lines of the war against illiteracy in America. If you will lead, others will follow.'"

He is writing this whole thing, by the way.

"When I finished, I received a standing ovation. The kids in the Smart Row will welcome me home from my long journey."

There are some things he has recommended:

"Discard labels." Do not label a child.

"Dismantle special education classes. All education should be special. I'm sure the original intent of special education was good, but it has not, in my opinion, produced a quality product.

"Take the special education teachers and have them mentor regular teachers or assist in one-on-one education in the classroom. Mainstreaming these children is a viable concern, but I think it's time to begin." This is his recommendation on this, of course.

"Smaller class sizes.

"Emphasize family literacy programs and church outreach."

Thank you very much for being so attentive. If you have questions on this area -- but the main thing is that you now have two major areas in this province ready to go and they do need funding for this. The funding is a pittance to what you are spending in the incarceration units of this province and across Canada. I would welcome any questions at all.

The Vice-Chair (Ms Dianne Poole): Thank you, Dr Hurst. We have two members who've indicated they have questions. I first of all want to thank you for your presentation today. You've certainly put a number of very intriguing ideas before us.

Dr Hurst: You're going to have to speak up. I celebrated my 80th birthday just two weeks ago, and my hearing is not as good as it should be.

The Vice-Chair: With that warning, we'll all go a little bit closer to our mikes. We'll go to the near point -- what is it? -- four to six inches.

Dr Hurst: Thanks a lot.

Mr Kimble Sutherland (Oxford): Dr Hurst, if you hadn't told us you had just turned 80, we would never have known that.

Dr Hurst: That's the best compliment I've had all day.

Mr Sutherland: I found some of your comments quite interesting, particularly when you were talking about the influence of television. I know many people like to cite how Canadian students and Ontarian students do in international testing. I always find it interesting, and certainly point out to my constituents, that from my understanding there are two factors in which both Canadian and US students differ significantly from many of the other comparators, whether it's Asian students or European. Those two of course are, when you're at the high school level, the number of hours per week they're working in part-time jobs, and then overall the number of hours per week they watch television in Canada and the United States versus the others.

When people say, "It's solely the education system that's not doing those things," obviously those in the education system, teachers, can't control how many hours of television someone watches outside of school. The information you present today would tend to support those results, that that has a negative impact.

You talked a lot about the different methods here. Certainly, what I hear from my constituents who come in to see me is about how we do early detection and how we identify those who have learning disabilities. I was just wondering whether you could give us some comments on that specific area, how we identify them at as early an age as possible to ensure that we can take a plan, whether it's the one you propose here or other plans, to try and help these people so they don't end up being in our jails.


Dr Hurst: I think each of you has a copy of two photographs, not the young child or the photograph of the classroom, but the other areas. Is this the only thing you have? Have you got them?

Mr Sutherland: Is that the other one?

Dr Hurst: Yes. If you look at those sheets, you will find that they are some of the assessments we make. We check the vision. Vision is extremely important because it has three major areas.

The focusing of the eyes: We use something known as a flip test in which we put a certain power of lenses in the lower portion of this and then flip it over and it's exactly the opposite in the other. We ask the child to say when that prints clearly. This checks the focusing. They must clear it almost instantly, you see, so that the focusing element of the eye must work at top speed.

The convergence of the eyes: The back of the eye has a very tiny portion only, known as the fovea, where clear vision is possible. The eye cannot turn very far, you see, without turning away from this tiny area at the back of the eye. When you have two eyes and one eye interferes with the other, that's game over, so we must check the convergence of the eyes.

The other is fusion, the image they are looking at: One on each eye must overlap at the back of the eye, and unless the eyes are aligned, this will not occur.

So that is as far as the eyes are concerned.

We check the tactility, how a youngster is able to feel certain objects and tell what it is. Remember that every sense modality mirrors all the other senses within the brain, and this is what we are checking when we call the assessment. You look at a dog out there: You know exactly what that fur feels like, you know what it says when it barks, especially when it's near the food bin. All of these things are mirrored in each one of these sense modalities.

Am I making sense to you on this? For instance, take the gustatory, the sense of taste, and the smell. You can place objects in the mouth and if they have a taste, you are able to tell the shape of that particular object you have there, whether it's round or square or whatever, and the taste of it and so on.

Every one of the sense modalities, then, will image the other sense modality. Each one will have four or five images connected all together. This is known as coordination of the senses and there are special training devices for this. Does that answer your question?

Mr Sutherland: Yes, thank you.

Mr Robert V. Callahan (Brampton South): Doctor, I want to bring this down to its common denominator. As I understand, what you're saying is that the eye -- I don't want to downgrade the eye, but it's really a muscle. The muscle has to converge in such a way that you have monocular vision as opposed to binocular vision, and if it doesn't focus properly, the person who's reading really is not comfortable reading and that will throw off the other senses; in fact, it will concentrate more on trying to read the words rather than interpreting. Is that a fair representation?

Dr Hurst: You're perfectly right, Bob, in that. Remember, what we're talking about here is coordination, coordination of the eyes, and that's what you're talking about. The muscle of the eyes is more than 100 times powerful enough to complete whatever it is set out to do, but the coordination is another picture altogether. Within the eyes themselves and the coordination of those three main areas -- focusing, convergence and fusion must be tied in together and correlate and coordinate together very, very well.

Mr Callahan: Just following that hypothesis, because some of my colleagues have asked me why you've got these tests with the perforated holes and so on, presumably if a person exercises the eye, just as they would any other muscle in their body, by reading from an early stage in life or whatever, even if they have that difficulty they should be able to overcome it, yet a child who watches television is really not exercising the muscle at all. It's simply a straightforward passive staring at something, and therefore they don't develop this sync, their ability to have what would in essence be monocular vision.

It's interesting. I've been involved, as I think Margie has too, with a lot of groups who've dealt with learning-disabled kids, and it's interesting that these kids, in the main, when they play sports are either goalies in hockey or goalies in water polo or whatever and they're usually catchers in baseball. That would almost seem to say that they have binocular vision.

I don't know whether that's ever been looked into, whether the reason they have that ability to see a ball coming from all around them is because they have not developed the monocular vision that concentrates, as you say, on the fine point, the needlework or whatever that term was you used; that they still have this ability to be able to look out there and see a lot more than just the normal area of vision that we who have developed a monocular vision ability have and are able to read properly. They still have this binocular vision and have a much broader expanse of the picture when they look at things. I don't know whether there's ever been any study done on that.

Dr Hurst: What you have to remember here, Bob, is that we're talking about distances. This is why the near point working distance study, which I did back in the 1950s, by the way, was almost immediately picked up by the London Times, England, New York Times etc, because all of a sudden they saw this particular very important concept.

You can't consider 20 feet, 16 inches or six inches -- even 16 inches and six inches are totally different, they're quite opposite. When we take a correlation at 16 inches with reading and six inches with reading, we find a negative correlation with one and a positive correlation with the other. They're opposite, do you see, even in that short distance.

What you're talking about here, Bob, in football and so forth out there, is that it's totally different from up here, and this is where these kids have to perform: up here. If they can't perform here, it's game over with them.

Mr Callahan: We don't have much time left. I'd just like you to explain to the committee what the process was that you set up in San Bernardino, California. What was it? We've got pictures here of kids putting their finger into what appears to be a Ouija board. Maybe you could just explain quickly what that is, because I think that in some way demonstrates what you're trying to do in Muskoka. Maybe you could just do that for us.

Dr Hurst: That's counting the dot series, by the way; they have to count those dots. If they use their finger to count the dots, what we like to see those kids do is use their eyes. We just set dots in concentric circles and we say: "Put your hands down. Now count those." Many of these kids who are in trouble in school are just unable to get beyond two or three dots, and they have to reach out and do this, you see. We know then that these kids are not coordinating properly. They have to bring in a whole lot of senses.


Mr Callahan: This is not something each teacher would do individually in a classroom. What I wanted to know is, what were you proposing in the Muskoka board? Is this a special side of the education: to test people and to assist them in terms of redeveloping their muscles so they can focus properly? I don't think you've told us that and I don't think the committee understands that.

Dr Hurst: Actually, there's one main thing I haven't told you here. Blanch Brandt, in San Bernadino, is a Canadian and wishes very much to come to Canada. She's had 12 years' experience as administrative director of this group. She's had another 10 years on top of that in a private office doing this particular type of training and organizing it there. Dr Brandt has her doctorate in psychology and is probably one of the best-trained individuals in the world today in this area. Dr Harry Silverman, of the educational research department, University of Toronto, has talked to me about this in bringing in Blanch, if funds can be found to be pay her salary, because I believe the institute is starting to scale down; many of you probably know this. He hasn't really discussed it with them, but he's talking on these particular lines, of bringing Blanch into the institute and having her go to work with these particular units and help set them up.

Maybe you don't have the 40-item assessment list and the 92-item assessment list in your group there. If you haven't, I'm remiss, because you should have it.

The Vice-Chair: That may be part of the package the auditor has, which is more extensive than what members have. We can certainly share that information with members.

Dr Hurst: If any of you would like a copy of these -- this has a list of all the tests that are done. Some of them you will understand because they're quite simple, but they certainly tell a lot as far as this child is concerned out there. Did that clarify your --

Mr Callahan: It does, in a way. If it's in the material, fine. But I wasn't sure if the committee understood exactly what was done in San Bernadino. Was there a special room for it where children were brought in?

Dr Hurst: Yes, definitely. They had a unit installed right in the San Bernadino juvenile hall.

Mr Callahan: And that's what's proposed --

Dr Hurst: The staff in San Bernadino includes an optometrist, Blanch Brandt, as the administrative director; Paul Boccumini, who is the director of health there; they have a full teaching staff, approximately 10 to 12 in the class. All of these people say that when this program was put in, they found that their job all of a sudden became much easier to do. And remember that this does not teach reading. You need a reading teacher to teach reading so that education is not cut out because of this. This is the bottom line and the child must have the sense modalities each one assessed and each one coordinated with the other. That's the way it should go in these units.

Mr Callahan: Thank you, Doctor.

Mr Rosario Marchese (Fort York): Dr Hurst, I'm going to try to ask some quick questions. We're running out of time, so rather than making statements, I will do that.

We, as you know, have an identification placement review committee process that happens all over Ontario. Do I understand that in this identification placement review committee process, none of your ideas are being tested out through that process at the moment?

Dr Hurst: No. At the moment, absolutely not.

Mr Marchese: They're not doing it.

Dr Hurst: No. They are a going concern in five different areas within the United States at the present time. They are in incarceration units, by the way, and each one of these areas is saying that the recidivism rate is being dropped substantially in each one of these.

Mr Marchese: I understand. I just wanted to confirm that none of your ideas is being used when we do early identification of our students in the school system. That's correct?

Dr Hurst: I've been working at this since 1948 and I have published since the 1950s, so it's quite obvious that the scientific community has been well aware of these. Probably in individual offices they are being put to work, that's for sure.

Mr Marchese: But is there resistance to some of your ideas in the educational systems, with the people who do assessments, with educators? Is there some block or resistance to some of the things you're proposing?

Dr Hurst: Absolutely. Locked-in resistance: It's exactly this. This brings up a very important area. You've probably read the book on Programmed Illiteracy in Manitoba. This was a young mother who wrote this book. Teachers were told to teach by a certain method; otherwise, if they deviated from that -- the method wasn't working with kids, so these teachers were extremely conscientious and they would say, "I'm going to try something else." These teachers were fined because they were teaching in another method than that prescribed by the administration. This is horrible; I can't believe that this existed. This book is available, by the way. The name is Programmed Illiteracy. Take a good look at this.

I don't think they're fining teachers here in Ontario whatsoever, yet they may be doing it by other subtle means. Maybe they're not doing it at all. Maybe the teachers don't know there are these other beautiful methods they can be using for teaching kids who are not learning by what they are doing.

Mr Marchese: Mr Chair, if we're running out of time, I'll just stop with my questions.

The Acting Chair (Mr Bruce Crozier): Are you finished?

Mr Marchese: No, I'm not, but it would take a long while, so I'd rather not continue with the questions, Mr Chair, if we're waiting for the next group.

The Acting Chair: Dr Hurst, on behalf of the committee, I'd like to thank you again for your attendance today and for the information you've left with us. I would hope we will gain some insight into the comments you've made. Thank you very much.

Dr Hurst: Thank you very much. I hope your decision is a positive one, really, because these kids need your help, there's no question about that. Thanks a lot, ladies and gentleman.

The Acting Chair: We'll just take a very short break. We will be going into closed session, so as soon as those who've left the room who need to, we'll move on to the briefing by our research.

The committee continued in closed session at 1109.