Black People : Handicapped / Mentally Retarded People

Ledda

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Mar 29, 2005
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I'm a nurse and have worked with many physically and mentally disabled people. What I feel is not sympathy but empathy. I work with two teenage boys who both have cerebal palsy as well as other physical problems and deformities. I like to take them out with me on errands which they enjoy. I talk and interact with them. I even take them to several places i take my own kids like Chuck E. Cheese's, the zoo, or the carnival. I find many people who will stop what they're doing, for longer than they should if they were really concerned about their own business, and just stare. It seems these people are uncomfortable with seeing others this way. One of my clients' mama told me that once she and her husband took him bowling with them. As her husband was getting the wheelchair out of the van and she was getting her son a woman walked by and said loudly enough, "If I had a child like that I wouldn't take him out in public." She said since then she hasn't taken him out except to doctor appointments because she doesn't think it's fair to have people talk about him that way. She's not ashamed of him, it just hurt her to have someone say that about her child. Her husband had to stop her from kicking the woman's butt.
I've taught my kids that some people in this world are different in this way and it's ok. Once we were at a store and my older daughter was holding the door waiting for me and my youngest daughter. A woman and her son who had leg braces on and crutches were also walking toward the door and went in. Both of my daughters said "Hi!" to him and started to turn to me so we could shop. The boy said to his mama, "Mom, they said "Hi" to me and they didn't stare." Tears came to both of our eyes.
I've known people who have told me they could never do my job and I've known people who have actually made fun of people with disabilities. They don't know how blessed they are. The boys I care for, niether one of their mamas did drugs or abused them in any way but here they are today. One was born with his unbilical cord wrapped so tightly around his leg that it deprived his brain of oxygen and the other had a severe allergic reaction to his first set of immunization shots. So it can happen to anyone's child. If anything it should make us all feel more comfortable with ourselves as well as blessed.
 

Omowale Jabali

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karmashines said:
How do you respond to individuals in our community who are "special", in other words those who are handicapped or mentally retarded? Is there a sense of a "forced acceptance" because one might feel sorry for them? I say "forced acceptance" because in their face one might be nice to them, but carry on direct mannerisms, IN MANY CASES that are VERBAL that can be picked up on by 'normal' family members.

Also, do you think that because one person in a family might be 'special' that the others would be genetically prone to the same physical and/or mental retardation?

Please be honest, while respectful that there may be "special" people in the community or family of "special" people that might be reading. And remember, these are just QUESTIONS for pondering.
I used to be a special education teacher and had some students who actually were quite gifted in some areas. I worked hard to mainstream as many of them as I could because a number of them had "emotional handicap" whcih means that they had a lot of angst and were not used to being treated as normal human beings. Some had learniing disabilites but many times these were the result of bad teaching and somewhere along the path they had "gaps" in their learning. I don't think there is really a "forced acceptance" of folks who are handicapped except for within their own families, but if the family itself is dysfunctional the handicapped person may lack a viable support network because there is no "environmental fit". As far as a "genetic" factor, not really. I have a very large family and one cousin who folks think is retarded but actually has down's Syndrome and he is the only one that I know of who has this ailment.
 

Isaiah

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Jun 8, 2004
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karmashines said:
How do you respond to individuals in our community who are "special", in other words those who are handicapped or mentally retarded? Is there a sense of a "forced acceptance" because one might feel sorry for them? I say "forced acceptance" because in their face one might be nice to them, but carry on direct mannerisms, IN MANY CASES that are VERBAL that can be picked up on by 'normal' family members.

Also, do you think that because one person in a family might be 'special' that the others would be genetically prone to the same physical and/or mental retardation?

Please be honest, while respectful that there may be "special" people in the community or family of "special" people that might be reading. And remember, these are just QUESTIONS for pondering.
I do that little Damon Wayans piece, and act like I am the HANDI-MAN!!!!lol!

Nah, just joshing, Karma... I actually don't do them ANY special favors, 'cause brothers and sisters like that have a world of pride larger than anything you'll see among the less "handi-capped" among us... It's oft an insult to them for you to come outta nowhere offering help they didn't ask you for... I let a brother or sister who is mentally-retarded TELL ME what they want from me... More often than not, they just wanna be left to do things on their own like anyone else... So, in short, I don't do the Handi-Man routine, but respect them as full-fledged human beings...

As for genetic predisposition, I have no position on that... I tend to think that mental retardation may have been caused by the mother not eating well, or smoking, or perhaps some incident during childbirth... I admit to major ignorance on that front... As per families having that kind of predisposition, I would admit to knowing some families who seemed to have more than one person who was mentally challenged... As to whether that was about birth defects or not, God only knows... Let me end it there, as I sense more and more my foot ascending toward my mouth(smile!)


Peace!
Isaiah
 

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I've worked with 63 people with handicap / mentally ill for years
and while some do need special treatment and moreso attention
toward them , what i notice is they are very alert and aware of things
i kinda feel for some and i've never overlooked them , one in the hood
are treated like any other human body they pose a pride larger then any
and don't look for handouts or any special treatment , it's not hard understanding
them and they are accepted because they are people like any other , i don't think
because one in the family is bring any risk of others , it's all on the mother and
what she intake in her system that affects the mental or normal growth of the seed .
 
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