In San Francisco about 2% of all children under 20 years of age are severely handicapped; an additional 12%-15% receive Aid to Needy Children. 12-20% are "fringe cases"—those who are emotionally disturbed, deprived, or neurologically handicapped and those who have learning problems, anomalies and other defects, or borderline IQ's. This fringe group is the reservoir for many of the community problems, the drop-outs, delinquents, neurotics, and the plain inadequate citizens. Statistics of this nature may be obtained from such sources as the Census Bureau, Public Health Department, schools, and public welfare agencies. An expensive survey is not necessary and often serves merely to kick the problem upstairs instead of sweeping it under the rug.
Children with severe handicaps as well as those on the fringe need a careful medical examination in order to make a basic diagnosis. In addition they need an assessment of their abilities and disabilities in functioning.