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special needs

The Retarded Reader

Understanding and Helping the Retarded Reader

Understanding and Helping the Retarded Reader

Submitter: My local library has a small section on education help. Here is an ancient book from the proceedings of a conference on reading problems held in 1962. Scholarly, and not much help to a public patron who might be dealing with this issue.

Holly: This is in a public library? Whyyyyy?

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Steven is Retarded

My brother stephen is retarded coverMy Brother Steven is Retarded

Submitter: We found this *horror* while weeding a school library. Perhaps once upon a time this may have been helpful to a elementary/middle school child, but now it’s just awful. And it’s photographs, so Steven is probably still out there, as well as his sister. Can you imagine a sibling bringing this book home today?

Holly: There are definitely better books on the subject (with  more current photographs and terminology) today! The content seems very candid, though, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Kids probably really have these thoughts. I’m with submitter, though – it may have been helpful back in the day but should really be replaced with something more current.

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Don’t Feel Sorry for Paul

Dont Feel Sorry for Paul coverDon’t Feel Sorry for Paul

You can tell by the cover of this book that it is old! The one dark spot over the word “Don’t” in the title is where the protective plastic cover is ripped. Condition = fail.

Second, look at that amazing collar on Paul’s shirt! Definitely 1975. The furniture in Paul’s family room (last picture, below) is also very 70s. I don’t know if they still make prostheses like Paul’s arm…but I bet if they still have that style, it is vastly improved. Currency = fail.

There’s nothing wrong with the idea behind this book. It was a great choice for a public or school library in 1975. I think we can update, though. I don’t feel sorry for Paul. He’s amazing (and probably about 50 years old now!). I do feel sorry for the library that thinks they can’t do better than this book.


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