What if your child is mentally retarded or an autistic?
March 6, 2007 4:25pm CST
My sister is an Occupational Therapist by professuion and is currently working as a teacher in a school of mentally retarded and autistic children. She always tells me that it's so hard to be able to deal with them especially when it comes to their behavior and speech. It really entails patience and love of your work. She once told me that though these children have behavioral problems, her day won't be complete without seeing them at all because basically they already are a part of her and they have already built a bond with them. SOmetimes, she would tell me how she appreciated the parents of these children for accepting for who and what they are. Most parents of these children give them their utmost support and love too. BUt it's also sad to know that there are also parents who just forced to bring them in school. Some of them are ashamed of their children. And i'm quite wondering how it really feels to have these kind of children. I believe that they are still wonderful gifts but other people take them as no use at all.
3 people like this
7 Mar 07
Yes, having a special child involves lot of work for the parents as well as teachers as each and every skill has to be taught with patience, it cannot be taken for granted that they will learn, no parent will hope for a mentally retarded or an autistic child but if you get one than you have to accept it and learn how best you can help the child as it is not the child's fault that he has a disability, even though the child is disabled they have wonderful qualities which normal children will not have they are so innocent and simple that people will really love them when they interact with them, behavior problems may be due to the disability or lack of speech due to which they cannot communicate, if we put a tape on our mouth and we are forced to do certain things, I'm sure we all will react with certain behaviors so the root cause should be understood and not judge them harshly, the special children are created by the same creator so we should not look down on them, we have to treat them with the same respect and love.
• United States
8 Mar 07
Kids with a disability are the most rewarding parenting you can do. They love unconditionally. It doesn't matter what happens. My son has Cerebral Palsy and he goes where we go. If that is a problem, we will not go there anymore. It takes alot of time and patience but it also makes you look at life in a whole different perspective. The little things that used to bother you, don't anymore.
• United States
12 Mar 07
Being autistic is not the same thing as being mentally retarded. In fact, most autistic children have superior intelligence. Autistic children are not stupid, they just have problems expessing themselves and dealing with the overwheming stimuli of the world arould them. I very much resent autistic children being lumped into the same school as retarded children. As far as parents being forced to send their autistic children to a state school, that is both immoral and should be illegal. Just because parents do not want to send their autistic children to a achool for mentally retarded children does not mean that these parents do not love their children and want the best for them. Who is there with any state agency that can look me in the eye and tell me that the state knows what is better for an autistic child than the parents do? Autistic children are much better off at home receiving one on one individually education instruction from their parents. We very much love our autistic son.
13 Mar 07
Hi there, im also an occupational therapist and i did experience working in a special school. I also have an autistic brother that im currently taking care of-yes i think it is indeed rewarding to work with such kids, specially if you see an improvement in them as your teaching them. Yes there are indeed parents who are very supportive of their kids, and they are even very nice to the staff like us as well- because they understand too the great deal of patience and love that we give to their kids everyday. But from where i have worked there are also parents, who just sends their kids to the school just to get rid of them, and this really makes me sad- We've got a handful of such- i just dont understand how they could do that to their child- sometimes there are instances when the parents would bring their child to school unbathed and untidy and sometimes- the kid doesnt even have his snack with him- these parents would say that they had an emergency meeting... blah blah- too busy to care for their child- considering that they have 5 maids to take care of thier kid! Sometimes, we receive the child with all these scratches, bruises and marks, its obvious that they have been beaten up at home. And there was even a time when my student came in school with a distorted haircut and there was a part of his head that his hair was obviously pulled off, though i know the kid has a tendency to do it by himself- But that much hair lost? i dont think he could have pulled it all by himself-when we asked the caregiver- She would just say- I DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED... its just sad, that they dont care enough for the kid- it really breaks my heart at times. Although i know that sometimes- these kids could really be a pain in the neck at times, but i dont think hurting them like that is necessary-
• United States
11 Mar 07
My son is 3 1/2 now.. he has high-functioning Autism. I'm not ashamed of him, but I do wish his behavioral problems didn't exist. It is really hard to deal with sometimes, and when I take him to school, therapy, even out somewhere in public, it seems like it's just a matter of time before something upsets him (and everybody has to hear about it). And yeah, I can't help but wonder what people think of me as a parent. But I don't necessarily want to go around saying "He has Autism", in hopes it explains it all. Because then what? I don't want to start making excuses for my son. He is the way he is, and I can only hope that through therapy, we/he can work on better ways to express himself. What is really great is that despite his melt downs, I get great compliments on other aspects of his development- such as the great strides he's made in speech, etc. It makes me very proud of him.
9 Mar 07
I am asking myself this question, "Would you prefer to have a mentally-challenged kid to have no kid at all?" I have to admit, it's not easy to answer. I believe most people will say they'll love the kid anyway, but given a choice of not having him/her, what would our choice be? Like one mother responding to this posting abour her cerebral palsy child, our life will certainly be much different from other family. But then, given a choice, would you prefer to deal with having a mentally-challenged to having an ill-mannered abusive spouse? Tough choice, right? But it also shows although our family will be much different, it'll be quite the same with other families, too...=) I used to worry about having a kid with certain issues of disabilities with particular concern about who would look after him/her if I die? I don't want them end up in a place where misery is their company. But I was made realized that God loves them MORE than I would. And placing this kid in my care is not to burden me, but to help me become a more Christlike individual. That is all I should care about. Same thing like dealing with difficult spouse, parents or friends, anyone we're closely acquianted to. Hard? Yes. But rewarding in the end? You bet. Because you have a chance to receive God's display of love more than anyone else...=)
7 Mar 07
No body wants to have children with those kind of sickness. So if ever I'm gonna have one, it won't matter. Although how hard it may be, I would still accept them and try to nurture them with the best love and care I can give them. It's your own child and the child don't have any fault on what has happening to them. So let's accept them and still treat them as normal children.
7 Mar 07
True, being a parent or a family of a mentally retarded or autistic child does bring a big responsibility and requires a great love and patience to raise them well and teach them to live life more or less the same way as the normal children do. If the parents themselves can't accept their children who happen to be a little different from the rest of the other children in the world, then who else will? Yeah, Sped teachers do play a great role in helping these children find happiness in this world which seems almost always cruel to them, being deprived of the things the normal children enjoy. But I believe it's still in the home where their basic education and self-confidence need to be built up. There's no greater way to make these special children feel loved and welcomed but through their parents and family who show loving care and constant support all the way.