Just ruminating

I remember when I was about 14 that a neighbor on my friends street had a developmentally disabled daughter. She might have been a year younger than me. Her sister was in my sixth grade class. I walked by that house and played outside in front of that house almost the entire time I was a teenager. I never ONCE saw that girl outside playing. Common sense tells me they had to take her to doctors appointments, and for a haircut, etc. But I don’t remember ever seeing her outside that house once. I used to see the family piling into their station wagon and I think they must have covertly taken her out once every couple months. But for 5 or 6 years I never saw her. And incidentally there was a group of us who hung out on that street almost every day unless we were mad at each other. There was 4 or 5 of us guys and a couple girls.The sister who was not disabled never came out to join us until we were almost out of high school. It would have been fine if she came out years earlier but it was her choice.
Anyway, one night the father was coming home from work while we we hanging out and he flagged us down. We all knew him from sight. But he asked if we could help him move some furniture. We weren’t entirely bad kids so we said yes. It was me and two friends.We had never been in his house before. Well his disabled daughter came out to see us. And we were scared. She couldn’t talk correctly and she was drooling and smiling but she seemed a little out of control. Like I said, we were scared,I think we were afraid she would attack us. But NOW. 40 years later, I realize that it was probably a big deal for her to see anyone besides her family. And she was curious and trying to be friendly. She must have been lonely staying in the house while her family lived lives outside the house. Now years later my perspective has changed. I felt bad that we weren’t friendlier. We had kind of shied away from her and I regret that too. We were 14 and just ignorant of those things.NOW I understand. It isn’t to long ago in history that lots of us people who are on these boards without medication would have been either kept in some back bedroom our whole lives or institutionalized. I’m talking before 1950. Not that long ago since I was born in 1961. Now with this perspective It just makes me sad.


There are many things I did while young that I regret. I wouldn’t do those same things today so I don’t beat myself up too much about them. Kids make mistakes, they’re dumb and inexperienced, it’s just what they do.


when i was young i thought that touching someone who was down syndrome or ill or different meant i would catch it aswell, little did i know i was already ill with sz.
sz has made me more compassionate and therefore hopefully wiser.
take care


At least there is more education about developmental delays than there used to be. Even though it is probably too late for her, just think of all the people who are starting to be accepted.

My father has a sister that had a disability called Fragile X Syndrome. My grandmother refused to let her out in public because she was worried what other people would think. She was basically kept the family’s dirty little secret nobody knew about. :angry:

You have to be careful dealing with needy people. If you’re too forthcoming you can hurt them worse than if you ignored them. You can raise their hopes and then dash them.

Don’t feel bad nick77. I wish I could go down to the dog pound and save every one of the dogs in there…there is a lot of pain in life just from living…don’t add to it, it’s too much to worry about those in life we can’t really help…at least you didn’t laugh at her or something horrid like that?

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