When Mr. Brown peers through the glass window at his new daughter, she looks impossibly frail in the incubator. The doctors said she has Down syndrome; she will have mental retardation. But what will that mean for Mr. Brown's daughter? What will she be able to do? Will she ever have talents like his other children? Will she feel joy from her accomplishments-or only pain from her limitations?
Mental retardation is one of the most stigmatized disabilities in our society. People living with mental retardation are often treated as if they are simple, emotionless, child-like, or even less than human. And yet, individuals living with mental retardation have hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes, and talents and weaknesses just like anybody else.
This book will help you learn about mental retardation, the special needs of individuals living with this form of disability, and the support systems available to help people with mental retardation acquire independence and success. As you read, you will meet Penelope Brown, one girl living with Down syndrome. Follow her story as she struggles both with her medical condition and with the ignorance of others. As you read, you will learn how Penelope and her family experience hope, disappointment, love, loss, and happiness as they learn what it means to live with mental retardation.
Table of Contents
The Biggest Decision of Their Lives 11
Smile for Me, Penelope 37
I Want Ice Cream, Too 49
A Fish in the Water 65
Some People Do Bad Things 75
My Name Is Not Slow 85
Where Are You Going, Phillip? 101
Messages to Heaven 113
Further Reading 122
For More Information 123