What does someone do when they see a retarded, or the term most prefer, a “Special” person? Unfortunately they usually make fun them. It is sad but true. It’s estimated that 3 out of every 100 people are born with some type of mental disability, but yet our society has not yet learned how to deal with this population. Perhaps it’s because the public doesn’t know how to treat these people. This should start at home. Parents need to inform their children at a young age that there are people who are different, and special. Maybe parents need to point out to their children that every body has some type of flaw, whether it be physical or mental. Maybe someone in their immediate family was born with a strange birthmark. We need to teach our children that just because someone looks different than we do, it does not give us the right to make fun of them.
I have a special needs daughter and it breaks my heart to see someone make fun of her because she is different. Usually it’s other children, because they do not know it’s wrong. They are not taught this at home. When adults make fun of people who are different, it’s usually because they don’t understand, or because they have no self esteem. As a parent of a disabled child, I would be happy to explain my daughter’s disabilities to someone who does not understand, they just need to ask.
Anyone who is interested in learning more information, check your local library or log onto the internet and look up mental disabilities. The more people know, the more they will understand that mentally retarded people are just like everyone else. They need food, love and shelter just like everyone else. They have feelings and know when they are being made fun of.
The next time you happen to see someone who is mentally challenged, smile at them, say hello and let them know they are an important part of our society.