Historical And Legal Issues Of Developmental Disabilities By James R. Thompson

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This chapter on “Historical and Legal Issues in Developmental Disabilities” by James R. Thompson and Michael L. Wehmeyer talked about how people perceived people with intellectual and developmental disabilities over the past few centuries. Intellectual and developmental disabilities have been around for a while and many people have been scrutinized for having disabilities. Early on people with disabilities were treated unfairly or mistreated by other community members. It was not until the late 19th, 20th, and 21st century where people started to help people with disabilities to attempt making a difference. There were many key themes throughout the chapter that I found very interesting, including the way people with disabilities were treated in the early years. People with disabilities were segregated from the rest of the community due to them being different in the middle ages to the 18th century. It came to my attention that people did not have respect for people with disabilities. No one cared to get to know them or help them. It was normal for people to call people with disabilities names, or refer to them as “idiots”. Countless numbers of people with disabilities or who had mental illnesses were institutionalized. Even though there was many neglectful people in the world, there was also a number of people who started to address the situation and make a difference. Although civilians still needed to work on their terminology referring to people with disabilities.

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