Report Rand and the Handicapped in Questions about Objectivism Posted May 24, 2008 You bring up great points. I would also add that children are not trained to properly interact with handicapped much less mentally retarded children. So it's somewhat absurd to think they should. I view it as harmful to the retarded child to do so. That's why there are college degrees specifically in the field of special education! My daughter uses a wheelchair and her speech development is delayed because of a neurological defect that prevents some signals from passing accurately from the brain stem to her muscles. At school, she is in a regular classroom for the non-basic, or subject-based curriculum such as history, science, music, art and field trips. She goes to a special education classroom for core cirriculum, specifically reading and math (though she also does math in the regular classroom because she is at her grade level). Her reading development was also delayed because speech delays (including those that are solely of a physical rather than cognitive nature) delay language development, where that's not the case with numbers or other subjects. She has no problem interacting with other children and has only one friend who is disabled - another girl who uses a wheelchair. She plays tag and tether ball with the other kids, and thanks to her iBot she can be in an upright balance mode for either and she can even do relays and sports during PE. Her speech can be hard to understand, but my daughter knows it's incumbent upon her to slow down and be more understandable. And the kids tend to be patient enough to listen. What the other kids see is someone who is learning to enjoy life in spite of physical disabilities with the help of parents who obtain her innovations that extend her reach into places that, for instance, regular wheelchairs can't. She's so independent that she only needs help if something falls on the floor beyond where she could reach down or to use the lift that helps her use the bathroom. With regard to the kids with mental disabilities, yeah, even my daughter has problems with them when they act outside the mainstream (like the weird boy who always talks about guns but doesn't know what one is or how they work, and yet knows about shooting and pointing). Those kids spend most or even all of their day in the special ed class where they can get individual instruction. I've learned that the key with getting kids to understand disabilities is just to tell them the truth and confront it head on. What I see the problem is the altruistic notion of washing over the fact that these kids are different. Everyone is different. And I remind people there's nothing wrong with that, if nothing else because I sure as hell would rather be me than them. But that's hard to grasp in a collectivist or altruistic leaning society. When I tell kids the truth about my daughter's disability or even what's wrong with the kids who are retarded, autistic or have Down syndrome, and why they are that way, then it all makes sense and they are OK with it. Maybe that's why truth can set one free. But schools are good at lying to kids and that's the problem.