Mental Retardation and American Teenager

Topics: Down syndrome, Mental retardation, Communication Pages: 2 (550 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Down Syndrome

My favorite television series is “The Secret Life of an American Teenager.” The character Tom has Down syndrome. Tom struggles with communicating with girls, coping with the death of his biological parents, and meeting people that accepts his disability. He later finds friends with the same disability and the girl of his dreams. Trisomy 21, known as Down syndrome is a condition in which extra chromosomes cause delays in the way a child develops mentally and physically. (Webster) Tom was bullied by many people because of his looks. Not everyone with Down syndrome looks the same, but they have similar characteristics. People with Down syndrome have distinct looks. They have flattened noses, small teeth, short necks, stunted growth, eyelid crease, and low set and rounded ears. Because Tom looked like this, they made fun of him openly. He didn’t pay them any attention because he knows what his condition is and what caused it.

Tom is like a normal teenager. He is into girls, so he isn’t afraid to go up to them and start a conversation. Many people are being underestimated by this disability. People with this condition can usually do most things that any normal child can do. They may not learn it like a normal child would, but they will start learning thing at a later age. They can dress themselves, be potty trained, talk, and walk.

“Down syndrome affects the body mentally. There is some evidence that Down syndrome can exhibit deficits in nonverbal communication.” (Nurit) Speech and language is a major problem for many people with Down syndrome. Why? They develop their skills at a later age. They are similar to other children, it’s just they are slower than others. Tom often stuttered, but he could hold a conversation with someone.

Mental retardation is a big effect on children with this condition, but they are still allowed to attend school. Schools have special programs that these students are able to attend. Those programs help them with...
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