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Thread: Mentally Disabled in College?

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    Al B. Sure!
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    Arrow Mentally Disabled in College?

    At first I thought this article was talking about people with dyslexia and ADHD but I was wrong. There are 115 post-secondary programs in the US for mentally retarded people, including those suffering from Down's Syndrome.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12306378/site/newsweek/

    - In many ways, Katie Apostolides, an education major at Becker College in Worcester, Mass., is a typical undergraduate. As a freshman, she found it hard to leave her family behind in Pennsylvania and get used to dorm life. Like other new students, she worried that she’d never find close friends. One class—medical terminology—was unexpectedly difficult, and she had to withdraw in order to preserve her grade-point average. Her second year, she says, “has been going better.” She’s used to dorm life now. She’s made friends. The workload is still challenging, but these days, she says, “I take the initiative to go up to teacher and ask for help.”

    Apostolides’s troubles may seem ordinary, but she is far from an average college sophomore. She has Down syndrome—a chromosomal abnormality characterized by mild to moderate mental retardation. Profiting from a 30-year movement to keep disabled kids in mainstream school settings, Apostolides, 22, earned a degree from a public high school in Pennsylvania and now, supported by her parents and her own unflagging enthusiasm, is working on a college degree. She’s not the only mentally disabled person attending college these days. In 2001, there were 15 postsecondary programs for intellectually disabled students. In 2006, the number has swelled to 115. Next fall, two colleges in New Jersey—a community college and a four-year university—are launching pilot programs to offer a version of the college experience to such students.

    Thirty years ago, mentally challenged kids were relegated to institutions, training programs and group homes. Regarded as unteachable, they were trained to do basic menial tasks instead getting instruction in reading and math. That began to change in the 1970s when activist parents backed by new federal laws began pressing local school districts to “mainstream” intellectually disabled children and provide more community-based resources for them. At the same time, education specialists determined that many cognitively impaired children could learn more—provided they received early, intensive intervention. School districts began devising programs that mixed kids with disabilities into regular schools and sometimes, regular classrooms. “There was a massive shift in this country to supply more inclusion programs for intellectually disabled kids,” says Debra Hart, coordinator for education and transition for the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts.

    Mainstreaming intellectually disabled kids paid off. Today, says Madeleine Will, vice president of public policy for National Down Syndrome Society, kids with intellectual impairments are “functioning better in the world of school, in the home and in the workplace.” Parents who have spent the last 20 years creating educational opportunities for their disabled children say college is the next frontier. Steve Riggio, the CEO of Barnes & Noble, who is underwriting the two new programs in New Jersey, says he hopes his own intellectually disabled daughter, Melissa, now a high-school junior, will benefit. Without well-constructed postsecondary programs, he says, after graduation, “she is facing a life without the opportunities that typical kids receive.”

    The goal of many of the programs is to help the children develop the skills they need to live more independently—and that means getting and keeping a job. About 70 percent of intellectually disabled people are unemployed. Lindsey Foley, 20, an intellectually disabled woman from Worcester, Mass., hopes that auditing a computer course at Quinsigamond Community College near her home will help her keep her job at the local YMCA. “I need to learn about computers to get better,” she says. Because she can’t read or write independently, Foley attends class with a tutor. She uses special software that “reads” textbooks and the Internet. When it is time to take a test, she goes to the learning center where a “scribe” reads the test questions aloud and records her answers. So far, her mother, Robin, points out, Lindsey has not failed a test. “Ha!” Lindsey adds with pride. Next year, she says, she hopes to take classes in English and sign language.

    Not every college program offers the same level of inclusion and classroom support. Some colleges run life-skills courses on campus but keep intellectually disabled kids away from their mainstream curriculum. Others offer a hybrid, allowing the students to audit regular classes and supplement their course load with skill-building seminars such as cooking and human relationships. Other colleges allow them to matriculate. When Mercer Community College in New Jersey opens its new program this fall, intellectually disabled students will take some regular classes—working toward a vocational certificate—but they'll also get a special program of motivational speakers and seminars in classroom etiquette and time management. What if intellectually disabled students can’t cut it? “There are plenty of students without special needs who have to take a class repeatedly before they master the material,” says Mercer administrator Sue Onaitis, who is coordinating the program for intellectually disabled students. “We believe that it’s OK for all of our students to try and fail. There’s a kind of dignity there.”

    These programs aren’t cheap. Tuition for intellectually disabled kids is usually the same or more than the tuition for regular learners. In some states, local school districts will help defray the costs. If they don’t, parents have to dig deep since intellectually disabled students usually can’t obtain financial aid. Parents may be getting some help soon. Last month, an amendment to the Higher Education Bill was introduced in the House that would provide federal work-study funds for intellectually disabled students who attend college.

    John Russo says he’d welcome all the help his son could get. John, 18, has a cognitive disorder that has kept him out of public schools. Though he reads at the fourth-grade level, he’s like other teenagers in many ways—he plays in a band, has shown a flair for design and is dreaming of the day when he can get a driver’s license. Russo believes that postsecondary education will help his son make the crucial leap to the working world. Given the right opportunity, he says, his son had the patience and determination to succeed. “It’s not like he’s never had an obstacle thrown at him,” he says. Overcoming obstacles, he says, is the story of his life.
    © 2006 Newsweek, Inc.

    It would be great for these people to be able to live outside of institutions and be something besides janitors or other menial laborers but come on... Can the US college system be this bad? That John Russo mentioned in the last paragraph, it would be great if he could do something with his life and have a fulfilling life but if he reads at a 4th grade reading level, he doesn't belong in college. I'm sorry but you know I'm right.
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    Overcoming obstacles

    I'm sorry but you know I'm right.

    Nope. "Reading at a 4th grade level" is clearly not the sum total of this kid's abilities.

    I think it's beautiful. It's great for these kids to have a chance to extend themselves.

    Damn. That's a ballsy move for a kid like that.
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    If he reads at a 4th grade level, it's hard to see how he could pass any college level class, but if he can, what reason would there be to stop him?
    Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?

    It's no good (from an evolutionary point of view) to have the physique of Tarzan if you have the sex drive of a philosopher. -- Michael Ruse
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    Al B. Sure!
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    For christ's sake!

    we're talking COLLEGE here... the schools that produce engineers, chemists, accountants, teachers, sociologists, financial managers, etc. Most people of average intelligence don't finish college... how do you expect people with IQ's of 30-60 to pull this off? 4th grade reading level is NOT good enough for a college level course... imagine him having to write an essay!

    there are a few possible outcomes of stuff like this...

    - the poor kid tries hard but ultimately fails (why ultimately? He has DOWN'S SYNDROME!)
    - the college reduces the requirements and a degree means nothing anymore
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

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    I don't think IQ is very strongly associated with the ability to write an essay. Anyway, I just don't see the problem; either he makes, or he doesn't, just like any other college student.
    Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?

    It's no good (from an evolutionary point of view) to have the physique of Tarzan if you have the sex drive of a philosopher. -- Michael Ruse
    The Nedaverse I can accept, but not the Berzaverse. There can only be so many alternate realities. -- Elok

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    Al B. Sure!
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    you guys better stop this "it's beautiful" crap... How many do you think will actually graduate? all the while wasting pell grants and stafford loans...
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

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    Originally posted by Albert Speer
    Most people of average intelligence don't finish college...
    Everybody I've known who started but didn't finish college was smart enough to graduate but didn't have the drive or discipline necessary.
    Yes, we should [let all of the Mexicans in]. I'm running low on silhouette targets. - Slowwhand
    As a pro-lifer, I support [abortion in the case of rape]. Why penalize a woman while also expanding deviant genes/behavior? - Slowwhand

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    Al B. Sure!
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    they're already going to get work-study... only a matter of time.

    come on, be realistic here. They have Down's Syndrome! they are mentally retarded... yeah yeah all that stuff about if they work hard and if they're motivated they can achieve anything... or they will be an inspiration... they're mentally retarded. College is higher education.

    i know you'll not like the use of that phrase "mentally retarded" like it's some sort of vile word that condemns people to be inferior... but in any context, to be mentally retarded means you are not capable of functioning on the level that most people are capable of functioning on... and that includes functioning as an intelligent and reasoning person who is capable of completing college, something which requires abstract reasoning and memorization skills that people with down's syndrome do not possess, no matter their work ethic. Can you imagine a retarded person writing a 6 page essay on Plato's Allegory of the Cave?! Can you imagine a retarded person comprehending the theory of relativity?! Can you imagine a retarded person analyzing data using multiple regression models?! Can you imagine a retarded person understanding macroeconomics?!
    Last edited by Al B. Sure!; May 20, 2006 at 11:37.
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
    "I have nothing against Wilson, but he's nowhere near the same calibre of QB as Flutie. Flutie threw for 5k+ yards in the CFL." -Ben Kenobi

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    The point is if they're actually incapable of doing stuff they'll flunk out.

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    Oh but the hearts and minds of the offended ones will be so sad if there are groups that just don't have THE RIGHT to certain things. Usually, there is competition for positions and places but these great minds of PC will always ruin it and basically make the sharp front dull.
    In da butt.
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    Originally posted by Pekka
    Oh but the hearts and minds of the offended ones will be so sad if there are groups that just don't have THE RIGHT to certain things. Usually, there is competition for positions and places but these great minds of PC will always ruin it and basically make the sharp front dull.
    Yeah, we ought to pass more laws to put the blacks jews women gays mentally retarded back in their place. It ought to be reasonably simple to institute mandatory genetic testing as a college admissions requirement.
    Yes, we should [let all of the Mexicans in]. I'm running low on silhouette targets. - Slowwhand
    As a pro-lifer, I support [abortion in the case of rape]. Why penalize a woman while also expanding deviant genes/behavior? - Slowwhand

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    yes, that's exactly what I was saying.
    In da butt.
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    Originally posted by Pekka
    yes, that's exactly what I was saying.
    So you weren't agreeing with the sentiment that mentally retarded students should be barred from college?
    Yes, we should [let all of the Mexicans in]. I'm running low on silhouette targets. - Slowwhand
    As a pro-lifer, I support [abortion in the case of rape]. Why penalize a woman while also expanding deviant genes/behavior? - Slowwhand

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    BARRED from college? That's not what I was saying at all.

    I say let the standards win. If they can't compete, that's too bad.
    In da butt.
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    Maybe it's time to remind little Albert here of the way the real Albert Speer and co. handled the mentally disabled...
    Within weeks they'll be re-opening the shipyards
    And notifying the next of kin
    Once again...

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    Originally posted by Pekka
    I say let the standards win. If they can't compete, that's too bad.
    Originally posted by Kuciwalker
    The point is if they're actually incapable of doing stuff they'll flunk out.
    Yes, we should [let all of the Mexicans in]. I'm running low on silhouette targets. - Slowwhand
    As a pro-lifer, I support [abortion in the case of rape]. Why penalize a woman while also expanding deviant genes/behavior? - Slowwhand

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    So?

    Why shouldn't the same standards for getting in apply? It's a free pass, it's a giving hand.

    I don't believe in giving hands.
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    Al B. Sure!
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    And when they flunk out (i can't imagine more than 10% graduating, probably much less), would this experience have been helpful to them? maybe but I can imagine some not dealing well with the failure.

    and how the heck do they even get in in the first place? Community colleges don't have much in the way of requirements (although even they require you to take remedial english/math classes that i doubt most mentally disabled would be able to handle), but any state-school requires at least a 1000 on the (old scoring system) SAT and a 2.0 high school gpa (though that's so low).
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    Originally posted by Pekka
    So?

    Why shouldn't the same standards for getting in apply? It's a free pass, it's a giving hand.
    If they're getting a free pass on getting in, that's a problem, yes.
    Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?

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    Maybe it's time to remind little Albert here of the way the real Albert Speer and co. handled the mentally disabled...
    THEY'RE FREAKING RETARDED!

    we're not talking blind people or deaf people... we're talking people who can not function mentally. people who are incapable of the abstract reasoning that college demands... people who are on 4th grade reading levels. do you honestly think he'll EVER be at college level?

    we're not talking people who are 'a little slow' but through dogged determination and hard work they can succeed. we're talking people with chromosomal abnormalities that gave them IQs of 50. It's incredibly unrealistic to think they'll ever succeed in college or in the professional world. they can try but it will inevitably (95% of the time if not more) lead to failure. Someone tell me honestly that that is not true. I'd love it if there were statistics on this stuff but can anyone imagine them looking good?
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
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    Al B. Sure!
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    again...

    Can you imagine a retarded person writing a 6 page essay on Plato's Allegory of the Cave?! Can you imagine a retarded person comprehending the theory of relativity?! Can you imagine a retarded person analyzing data using multiple regression models?! Can you imagine a retarded person understanding macroeconomics?!

    it's a shame but you can not ignore the fact that they just aren't capable of the same things you or me are capable of. hell, the majority of people don't understand any of the above. how can someone with Down's Syndrome?
    "Flutie was better than Kelly, Elway, Esiason and Cunningham." - Ben Kenobi
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    Originally posted by Albert Speer
    THEY'RE FREAKING RETARDED!
    NO U R

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    First of all not all people who have Down's Syndrome are retarded. A minority attain at least a low normal intelligence. Second, the average American reads at a 5th grade level so she's not that far below normal. Her IQ is certainly above 30 to 60, it's probably at least 75. Finally I don't know of any college that would require a student to write an essay on Plato's allegory of the cave, which is only of historical interest anyway.
    "I say shoot'em all and let God sort it out in the end!

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    Al B. Sure!
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    the average American reads at a 5th grade level
    I call bullshit... things about how dumb Americans are are constantly thrown out there. If the average american read at a 5th grade level how did they graduate high school?!

    I don't expect much from the average person (hence why i don't think people below average are capable of completing college) but people aren't that dumb.


    Finally I don't know of any college that would require a student to write an essay on Plato's allegory of the cave, which is only of historical interest anyway.
    blah?! I've already written three for three different classes at Temple University, a state school, and I'm a Finance major! and, on top of that, we discussed it in high school!
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    i agree with speer only because tards like this get to go to college while i dont. should i fake tardism to go to college? yes?
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    Albert:

    I'm a deaf kid just about to graduate. I assure you that the university in no way reduces the requirements for the stuff I take. In fact the only accommodation that I have ever received is notetaking so that all I need to do when I go to class is to sit and listen as best as I can.

    I can get by without the notetaking, and I have in the past, but I do better with the notes then without.

    Frankly, given the level of commitment that I have seen from most students at a university level, I don't see why a 4th grade reading level could not do just fine. Most of the students don't even bother to read the material set out in front of them, and pass for doing all the work.

    Watered down? Sure, but it's not just for the downs-syndrome folks.
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    Can you imagine a retarded person writing a 6 page essay on Plato's Allegory of the Cave?! Can you imagine a retarded person comprehending the theory of relativity?! Can you imagine a retarded person analyzing data using multiple regression models?! Can you imagine a retarded person understanding macroeconomics?!
    Can you imagine a deaf kid giving a lecture?

    Can you imagine a deaf kid organising his discussion group?

    Can you imagine a deaf kid speaking a foreign language?

    Can you imagine a deaf kid doing a piano recital?

    And yet, I've done all those things, Albert. So go stfu.
    Scouse Git (2) La Fayette Adam Smith and Solomwi you will be missed
    "The fact that [sex between a 36 year old and 15 year old] was consensual is a BIG DIFFERENCE." - Ming

  28. #28
    Ben Kenobi
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    Why shouldn't the same standards for getting in apply? It's a free pass, it's a giving hand.

    I don't believe in giving hands.
    Sure, but I don't see why they can't meet the entry requirements. I mean, I got in early admission because of my excellent high school grades, so I can't automatically assume that they had lower requirements for this person here.
    Scouse Git (2) La Fayette Adam Smith and Solomwi you will be missed
    "The fact that [sex between a 36 year old and 15 year old] was consensual is a BIG DIFFERENCE." - Ming

  29. #29
    MRT144
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    Originally posted by Ben Kenobi


    Can you imagine a deaf kid giving a lecture?

    Can you imagine a deaf kid organising his discussion group?

    Can you imagine a deaf kid speaking a foreign language?

    Can you imagine a deaf kid doing a piano recital?

    And yet, I've done all those things, Albert. So go stfu.
    so the analogy youre making is mental retardation is on par with deafness? i knew there was a reason you wer ehte way you were!
    "I hope I get to punch you in the face one day" - MRT144, Imran Siddiqui
    'I'm fairly certain that a ban on me punching you in the face is not a "right" worth respecting." - loinburger

  30. #30
    Dis
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    as much as it pains me, I agree with AS.

    I'm tired of people getting a free ride through college. It seems everyone gets special treatment except me. Pisses me off.

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