does it mean when someone is mentally disabled or mentally handicapped?
Everything is going slower by those people in comparison with people from their age. The main point of a subject is difficult to understand for them. It doesn’t matter which subject: maths, writing, or reading. It seemed to be that those pupils are slower in working subjects out. It’s important to accept that those intellectual abilities are present.
book 'Werken aan een correct beeld van verstandelijk gehandicapten' states:
"Mentally handicapped people aren’t children in an adult’s body. Perhaps they can’t read well, talk in an easy way, or might have troubles with thinking. Some application skills remain at the level of a child. That doesn’t mean that mentally handicapped people are not interested in the same things as people with the same age without a handicap.
This means that mentally handicapped youngsters want to hang out with friends and are interested in love too. They even are interested in sex when they are ready for it. So, they might look different from other youngsters but they share the same interests."
How do you get it?
Children (or adults) can become mentally disabled, when something is damaged in the cerebral cortex (a part of the brains). This might be caused by a mistake in the construction of the brains (during the time that the baby was in the womb) or by secondary damage of the brain tissue (so during, or after birth). It’s not possible in all cases to show a physical defect.
• Factors before birth:
- genetically (e.g. chromosome defect)
- an unknown cause
• Factors during birth::
- anoxia (= shortage of oxygen)
• Factors after birth::
- an accident
- malnutrition during baby-years
- an infection
So, it’s possible that someone gets mentally disabled after a normal development.
Nine much frequently asked questions :
I think my child is mentally handicapped, where can I go?
The best is to go to your doctor. You can go to a social educational service also.
2. Can you heal?
No, it isn’t a disease. You can’t take away the handicap. But by adapt circumstances and by giving extra attention to the mentally handicapped person you can give her/ him a chance to develop as much as possible.
3. Can you work if you are mentally handicapped?
Yes, most of the time you can. But, there is some adjustment or support necessary.
4. Do mentally handicapped children attend school?
Nowadays mentally handicapped children attend school most of the time. Sometimes they attend regular lessons, sometimes adapted lessons.
5. Why are handicapped people sitting in a wheel chair?
Some people have a plural handicaps. This means that he or she has more then one handicap. That might be caused for example by anoxia (= shortage of oxygen) during birth. In that case a person might be spastic and is mentally handicapped. But it doesn't mean that a person who is spastic has automatically a mentally handicap. Sometime it’s difficult to judge in what way the mental ability is damaged in such a plural handicap. Sometimes a spastic child can’t talk and move for example, but can learn very well.
Sometimes I can’t see whether someone is mentally handicapped or not.
But sometimes I can. How is this possible?
The word ‘mentally handicap’ is a collective noun for many complaints. A famous example of a handicap is the Down’s syndrome. By these people it is possible to see that they are handicapped. But other people who are mentally disabled can look the same as any other child.
7. Is it determined by heredity ?
Some diseases which cause a mentally handicap are determined by heredity. If you worry about this, the best thing you can do is to contact your doctor. He or she can tell you whether it’s possible to do heredity research.
8. Can you talk with a mentally handicapped person?
Of course you can! You don’t need to change your volume. This is only necessary when someone is hard of hearing. It might be good when you use short sentences. And if the person where you are talking to, finds it difficult to talk, you have to wait a little time until he or she is finished.
9. Is it true, that mentally handicapped people are mostly more gentle and fair than people without a handicap?
Many people think so, but in practise mentally handicapped people aren’t ‘the nicest persons’. Every person has its own character and might be moody sometimes. So it’s not true.