Creative Recreation for the Mentally RetardedCreative Recreation for the Mentally Retarded

Thank you to the anonymous submitter for this one!  Wow.  I’m going to assume that most librarians do not think this is a good choice for today’s shelves. Here’s a great example of how if you don’t keep up with weeding, when you finally get around to it you’ll realize how many ridiculous books like this you still have on the shelves.   What must the public think??   There are lots of better, more current choices for books on this topic.


  1. Oh, my goodness. The main library in our statewide system still has this one! (I checked, geek that I am)

  2. This truly is fascinating. I checked our collections also and we have it. However, despite the outdated title there may actually be some relevant info in there still (I assume b/c I haven’t actually checked). I hope this is true as well for the several other books we have with very similar titles. Still, we should update our collection since we obviously feel the content/subject matter is important.

  3. I’m with Laura. Yea, the cover is dated and it’s not PC to use the term “mentally retarded”–although I’m not sure why other than the fact that it came to mean…mentally retarded.

    All in all, what’s wrong with a book that has adaptive recreation activities for those who are “mentally challenged”? I’ve been a Special Olympics volunteer in the past. And that IS what SO does–provides recreation (with necessary modifications) for those without typical abilities.

  4. So does being a wheelchair user make you “mentally retarded”?

    These kinds of books are still being published, of course, but with updated, contemporary content and “better” language: “Adapted physical activity” is one book that we have in our library. Subject headings have the phrase “people with disabilities” in them…

  5. I just did a generic search on our computer system using the word “retarded” and am sad to say, but we did not have this particlar title. Oh no, ours was older, from 1968, and titled “Recreation for Retarded Teenagers and Young Adults”

  6. I would love to have, oh, 10 copies of this. I think they’d be great gifts for certain people I know. Anonymous gifts.

  7. Wheelies and a stick and hoop game is the best they can come up with? Seriously, how patronising.

  8. I’m sorry. I can remember 1975. Even back then it would been a non-PC title.

  9. Yes, how DARE a library have a book with a politically incorrect title! Burn the non-pc books! Burn! Burn! Burn!

  10. Btw Jane the “wheelies” are actually a bit of a wheelchair obstacle course if you look closer. And yes, even smart kids can enjoy running while pushing hoops. Kids have been doing things like that for centuries before computers. And ho said that the cover had the best ideas in the book? Or do you only judge books by their covers?

    I don’t see anything wrong with the book. “Mentally retarded” is actually not that un-pc. It’s still being used in medical lit even nowadays. We’re just so used to hearing it used pejoratively that it sounds like an insult. But it’s not when that’s the facts of the matter. And if you think “mentally retarded” is un-pc, you should have heard the things people were called back in 1975! Words change. Deal with it. You think that’s bad — read Mark Twain.

    I haven’t read this book, but I think it could be a helpful book. And I hope people will look for fun activities for their mentally retarded/handicapped/challenged kids instead of being so pc about things that they just end up ignoring them.

  11. I don;t find anything wrong with it. A library is a library and should house all books for the public to view. Remember “Don’t judge a book by its cover”

  12. Weeding out stuff like this is shortsighted, I thought if anyone ought to understand why retaining items like this is important it would would be a librarian. I worked at a library for years and was shocked to see how many amazing items got thrown in the trash due to the stupidity of staff who get to decide what does and doesn’t “belong” in a public collection

  13. I am searching for a good idea book as I work with severely mentally handicapped kids and young adults. I personally like “mental retardation” better as a term meaning mentally retarded. MR/DD is more “PC” and is currentley acceptable acronym. I was hoping since you mentioned there were better books out there, you might have mentioned some titles.

  14. @Liz – I’m sorry, but you’re mistaken. Something is offensive if the *person to whom it is applied* is hurt by it. What you think doesn’t matter, since you’re not special needs. Special needs people are hurt when they’re called retarded, and they say as much. Thus, it’s offensive no matter WHO uses it, and doctors who do so should update their terminology. You don’t get to decide that – they do.

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