Celebrating 100 Years of Child Study at Yale

The Beginning

alt textYale Child Study Center 

In 1911, Dr. Arnold Gesell was given a room in the New Haven Dispensary for the study of children with mental retardation. This event marks the beginning of what was to become the Child Study Center. Today, the Center remains a unique resource that brings together multiple disciplines to further understand the mental health challenges facing children, their families, communities, and society at large. The Yale Child Study Center is a primary source of information and guidance for pediatricians and primary care providers. A series of events to celebrate are planned. This series consists of 3 half-day meetings designed to meet the knowledge and performance gaps of parents, pediatricians and primary care providers in the New England area. The Centennial Series will provide the opportunity to learn from and meet experts in the area of child psychiatry, pediatrics, genetics, neurobiology, epidemiology, psychology, nursing, social work and social policy. The first was held at the Center on January 11, 2011 in honor of CSC founder, Dr. Arnold Gesell, and focused on infant mental health and development. On April 29, 2011 we hosted a symposium for pediatricians and primary care providers at the Grace Murray Hopper auditorium at Yale West Campus. The event honored the contributions of Dr. Milton J.E. Senn and focused on child mental health. On June 23rd we hosted an event in honor of Dr. Donald J. Cohen. Dr. Cohen stimulated the growth of one of the nation’s leading programs with a focus on brain mechanisms along with a strong commitment to clinical service, social policy, and international activities. Under his leadership, programs of research and clinical excellence were developed in several areas, including autism and Tourette’s disorder. His impact on the field remains powerful, despite his premature death in 2001.  

We will host our final Centennial event on October 27th and 28th in honor of Al Solnit, MD. Dr. Solnit was the first Yale trainee in child psychiatry who also chaired the Child Study Center and, in retirement, was commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for 8 years. Dr. Solnit is remembered as a superb clinician and educator who always emphasized the importance of a child-centered approach. This event will focus on Dr. Solnit's primary areas of interest, including child custody issues and social policy. 

Questions? Contact Lori Klein at 203-785-2522