How to Recognize Abnormal People cover

More Abnormal People

How To Recognize and Handle Abnormal People
A Manual for the Police Officer
Matthews and Rowland
1978

Submitter: Another dated police manual we weeded.┬áMy colleague left this on my desk with a sticky note, “Who you calling abnormal?” and an arrow pointing the the person of color on the cover. Sigh. We don’t even say “abnormal” anymore, much less “mentally retarded.” Oy. There’s a whole section on “Abnormal Group Behavior,” which includes Civil Protest. The advice is fine; basically keep your cool, but “men in police work” need training, of course!

Children with Mental Retardation cover

Children with Mental Retardation

Children with Mental Retardation: A Parents’ Guide
Smith, Ed.
1993

Submitted by a public library in Illinois, this one is pretty obvious. It uses old terminology, for starters. Wikipedia has a good article that explains the history of terminology for what we now refer to as intellectual disability. It also explains something I’ve never heard of: the “euphemism treadmill.” Basically, no matter what terminology is acceptable now, it will be considered an insult later. In other words, library books on special needs have to be kept up to date so that they reflect the current terminology at the very least.

There are also advances in therapies, treatments, and learning strategies that need to be kept up to date, plus the further definition of conditions that fall under intellectual disability. Here’s a good explanation from the American Psychiatric Association of what intellectual disability is. It’s not clear to me in the limited pages submitted (images below) what conditions this book covers. Downs Syndrome? Autism? How about what the APA calls “co-occurring conditions” like ADHD, anxiety, and cerebral palsy?

-Holly