Book Hippo

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mentally Challenged Meeting Place

I wasn't going to blog again for a couple of days but I saw something on TV and it set me off. In a place named Stittsville, just outside the old city of Ottawa limits, a woman saw a need for a meeting place for mentally challenged kids. Autistic and Downs syndrome can meet there and be accepted and loved and included.

I believe inclusion and acceptance is the most important thing for a child. They can develop only when they don't feel any hate or antagonism against them. Now what set me off is that it made me think of the attitude of most Ottawans, that you don't have to pay attention to the feelings of such people because there's something 'wrong' with them.

I get angry when I hear this and it makes me think back to BC when you heard of mental retarded children poking their own eyes out and such. People considered that a symptom of their condition when it was actually a symptom of the cruel ways they were 'kept' in institutions.

I have a friend whose son was born 'normal' but because of an allergic reaction to a vaccine became brain damaged. The doctors said this boy would never walk or talk. "Just put him in an institution. You can have other kids" This father looked around and decided that all the places recommended for his son were ghettos for mentally damaged kids and decided to quit his job and take care of his son himself. The wife went to work.

I will make a long story short. This brain damaged kid now runs 10K marathons and can talk. Strangely enough being brain damaged didn't affect his musical ability and he can play complicated pieces on the piano. Now this is what you can do with these kids when you take the time to communicate with them instead of just saying 'they can't understand' and such and leaving them sit by themselves.

So I just want to say that just because a kid is mentally disabled doesn't mean their emotions and feelings don't exist and aren't important to them. It's cruel to tell them that because they don't understand right away they are stupid and not worthy of consideration. That's my rant for today.


  1. Amen, Madeleine! I agree that developmentally disabled people need to be in environments where they can develop and become all they are capable of being. When there is love and patience a lot can be accomplished. I love the story of the boy whose doctor relegated him to an institution. Those places are only for people who have nowhere else to go. Loving parents and attention can do wonders. Great post and sorry the Ottawans have such a poor attitude. Articles like this can help. You should write letters to the editors of the news program where you saw the articles.