There are many things about the developmental disability community that are misunderstood.  Here are a few.

  • They don’t understand insults or compliments. The fact is that they love compliments and completely understand insults.  Their feelings can be hurt and they are as sensitive as any other person.
  • They are dangerous and cannot be trusted. While they are people and can do harm to themselves and others, in reality, our population is usually eager to please.  In addition, they are much more apt to harm themselves than someone else.
  • They are over-sexed individuals, especially the men. Most developmentally disabled women want to have babies; but they are not usually interested in sex for any other reason.   Men who have had sexual experiences are always more aware than men who have not experimented with sex.  However, in most cases, the hormones of men and women who are mentally challenged are not underdeveloped.
  • Individuals who are mentally challenged are loud and unpleasant. The personalities of people who are mentally challenged are as varied and complicated as any other people’s group.
  • All people born with Down’s Syndrome are sweet and compliant. While there are those with the typical personality attributed to a person born with Down’s, they too have a variety of personality types.
  • People who are mentally challenged are God’s special people.  This usually means that they are exempt from sin; and they are given a “get-out-of-jail-free card” in regard to the judgment of God.  The reality is that they need salvation and discipleship just like everyone else.  There are some .
  • They can never understand the plan of salvation because their minds are too simple. Everyone can understand “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”  This is the essence of the salvation plan provided by Jesus.
  • When you meet one mentally challenged person, you have met them all because they are all just alike. This community is extremely diverse.  Not only are their personalities different but they also have disabilities that are varied and different.
  • Medication should be given to modify every behavior. Medications are important and they are a wonderful gift for modern man.  Nevertheless, discipline can be learned by our population.  At times, habits are formed but they can be broken by godly teachings.

There are other things that are common wisdom.  What are some of the things you have learned that are not true about the population to which we minister?

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