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Does physically disabled = mentally incompetent?

There was what is honestly a pretty offensive question a little bit ago. Someone equated Downs to being deaf or blind. One one side of my family, there are several people who are deaf for congenital reasons. The youngest recently got a cochineal implant and is attending school in a normal classroom with kids her own age. None of the family members on that side are in any way unintelligent, socially delayed or in any other way intellectually impaired by the hearing issues.

On my side of the family, severe sight issues come into play, my cousin, several assorted aunts and uncles and I are all badly enough sighted to be considered legally blind. Mine is still correctable. My cousin's as well, though he didn't learn to talk until he was 7 and they realized what the problem was. Some of our older relatives who are still with us are now past the point of it being completely correctable.

Again, nobody on this side of the family is in any way cognitively challenged. Of the ones who passed away, all were gainfully employed, even after they completely lost useful vision. One was a college professor, another is now retired, but ran everything at her church, 7 days a week.

Other friends and family come to mind with other physical disabilities, for reasons ranging from disease to combat, and not a single one was rendered incapable of using their mind, even if they had less use of their body.

So why is it, in this day and age, some people can still be so callous as to equate someone having a different level of physicality to being mentally challenged and/or socially inept? How, in 2013, is that backwards, patronizing and flat out insulting way of thinking still being taught or encouraged?

Just because someone is not physically "perfect" does not mean they need Captain Save a Ho to rescue them 24/7. Why aren't people teaching this to their children?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 9:04 PM on Aug. 14, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (25)
  • luvmygrandgirl

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 9:08 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • I thought they said the person was all of them? But if I saw a gang of kids picking on anyone I would stop it. To answer your question, being disabled and mentally challenged do not go hand in hand, deafness runs in my family as well. I think sign language should be offered in school along with Spanish and French.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 9:10 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • The level of ignorance in the modern world regarding what people with physical abilities can do is truly shocking.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:12 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • I think sign language should be offered in school along with Spanish and French.

    That would be wonderful. Our park district had a program to teach it when I was in grade school, but from what I remember, it lost funding not long after. I remember a little, mostly the alphabet, but not enough to have a full conversation with someone unless I want to spell it a word at a time.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 9:12 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • I live everyday with people ASSuming my son with autism is retarded because he doesn't speak. Just today,the photographer who took his school picture was making noises like you would at a baby,to get him to look at the camera. SMH.....

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:14 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • NP, we have a deaf nephew so ASL is a must. I think all schools should teach it even if as an elective for those who truly want to learn.

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 9:15 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • DS wants to learn ASL so I am trying to find a program so we can both learn it.

    As for the OP, I don't understand the mentality that having any kind of physical limitation also means a mental one comes along with it. That is beyond stupid to me.

    Answer by kmath at 9:19 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • Some people do. Usually the people who have some experience with disabilities. Many people do not have any practical experience with disabilities, they might see someone and even say hello but that is not experience.
    It is similar with people who have a deformity, whether from birth, and accident or combat. The first reaction of most people who have not had an experience of meeting people with deformities is to gasp and back away as though it is contagious. Our mind expect a certain image and rebels at he situation until we have the experience to come to terms with it.
    No people with disabilities are not mentally challenged and the mentally challenged are not deaf, though people often will talk louder when they find out a person is slower than average.
    Humans compensate in the only way their experience allows them to.

    Answer by Dardenella at 9:19 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • you rock


    Answer by geminisummerz at 9:23 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

  • I had a similar conversation w/ my child the other day, when she saw someone park in a handicapped spot. She noticed they didn't appear to be handicapped, so I told her that not all disabilities are visible ones. She understands about certain disabilities tho, due to my son/her bro.

    I do think it's important for children to be taught to have respect & tolerance for others, and to speak up when they see a problem tho. Like someone being picked on. My child will be the 1st to befriend a new student, or one who is being left out b/c they are perceived to be different. I'm very proud of her :)

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:41 PM on Aug. 14, 2013

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