This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
Notwithstanding the apparently hopeless character of these cases, much has been done in modem times to ameliorate their condition. It has been shown, by actual experiment, that almost every case may be in some degree benefited by a persevering course of training, with good treatment The most hopeful cases are those which are healthy in other respects, being free from epileptic fits, paralysis, and other serious diseases of the nervous system. The prospect is most favorable when treatment can be begun at an early age, preferably not later than twelve or thirteen years. In several parts of this country, as well as in England, there now exist excellent institutions for the treatment of the feeble-minded, in which a systematic course of instruction and training is carried out, the excellent results of which are seen in many cases, by the rescuing of clouded intellects from almost total mental oblivion to a condition in which the individual is able to support himself by some form of simple labor. There is a marked tendency on the part of idiots and imbeciles to form vicious habits. Some years ago, we saw in a large hospital in New York,City an idiot who was suffering with the worst form of venereal disease.