More Special Ed

mental retardation coverMental Retardation

Some books are just obvious.  This came to me from an alert media specialist weeding her elementary school collection.  I also found copies in quite a few public libraries.  Yes we can debate the use of “mental retardation” as a pejorative all day until the next. I would stick “retarded” into a search box and see what comes up.  Usually that is a fast way to find outdated materials. Anyway, regardless of terminology, the science/health aspects of this book are grossly outdated.  Seriously, this is a no-brainer.  Weed it.


mental retardation contents


  1. I put ‘retarded’ into my search box at work (middle school library) and came up with only one title ‘Summer of the swans’. Not bad, really.

  2. Just what is that illustration on the cover about? It looks like science fiction from the 50s!

  3. “Mental retardation” is even outdated in the medical/educational fields now. The currently accepted term is “intellectual disability.”

    Also, anyone else reminded of “Retardation: A Celebration” from Strangers with Candy?

  4. Why has it got a picture of the Carpenters on the cover?

    Surely that should have been on the Bulemia/eating disorders book in the series?

  5. I was wondering about that, too. It probably means pregnancy, like don’t drink or use drugs during pregnancy. Most people know that, I think.
    Also, the age of the mother can affect the likelihood of Down’s Syndrome (generally speaking) though, of course, babies are born with mental disabilities all the time for no known reason. And malnutrition or supplement overdose, or prescription meds, can play a part in birth defects. It makes me wonder how much was known back then. I wouldn’t trust a book this age for accurate information on these subjects.

  6. Thank you. I guess I forgot this was written in the era of my childhood when I was busy chewing lead paint chips off my crib, breathing leaded gasoline fumes, and choking on second hand smoke. My children don’t believe that is used to be legal to smoke in grocery stores and restaurants.

  7. “My children don’t believe that is used to be legal to smoke in grocery stores and restaurants.”

    And it’s kind of good they don’t believe it. I can back you up, here. Tell them I grew up in North Carolina where a large part of the economy was (and still is) tobacco-based, and it was considered almost unpatriotic not to smoke. There were cigarette vending machines in restaurants. Some restaurants had “no-smoking” sections, but, as Steve Martin once pointed out, that’s kind of like having a “no-farting” section on an airplane.

  8. My sister is a school psychologist, and says that one of the worst parts of her job is communicating low IQ test results to parents. She tells me that she is legally REQUIRED to use the words “mental retardation” when the child meets the criteria. Still! In 2011!

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