The Child Who Never Grew
“The Child Who Never Grew” is the true story of Buck’s mentally challenged daughter Carol, who, for most of her life, lived at The Training School at Vineland in New Jersey. Carol was born in 1920 in China, and for the first years of her life, seemed to be developing as most children do. It was toward her third or fourth year that Buck began to question – and most often deny – that anything was wrong with Carol. She was energetic and musically talented. However, her mental development stopped. It wasn’t until Carol was 9 that Buck ultimately found a home where Carol could live happily and comfortably. The time between Buck’s discovery of Carol’s mental disorder – which was never diagnosed – and when she moved her daughter to The Training School at Vineland, is what Buck writes about in “The Child Who Never Grew.” Actually, it reaches beyond that as well. It covers Buck’s commitment to her daughter, and her continual quest to find answers both for herself and others in similar parenting situations. Buck defends the humanity and worth of the mentally retarded, and tells what her experiences with Carol taught her: "I learned respect and reverence for every human mind. It was my child who taught me to understand so clearly that all people are equal in their humanity and that all have the same human rights."(The Child Who Never Grew)
Families of exceptional children face so many difficulties. “The most immediate and predictable reaction to the birth of a child with a disability is shock, characterized by feelings of disappointment, sadness, loneliness, fear, anger, frustration, devastation, numbness, uncertainty, and a sense of being trapped”. It is understandable that parents have a hard time coping with the emotions of seeing the child deformed but, families must learn to accept, adjust to and cope with the sorrows and frustrations engendered by the birth of their handicapped children. Parental acceptance means many...
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