Parallels In Time V. The Reawakening 1950 - 1980 A. 1947 - 1980 The Parent's Movement
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All too often, the advice from professionals was confusing: "Send your child to an institution." "Keep her at home." "Wait, he'll grow out of it." In addition, most professionals had little more than advice to offer. They determined which services were available to families, and programs and services in the community were rare. Parents, seeing the failures of public institutions and community services, now began to assume control of services for their sons and daughters.

PUBLIC ATTITUDES

Parents and Doctors

Two books published in the early 1950s had an enormous impact on the public perception of mental retardation. Pearl Buck was a famous author and winner of the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes for her novel The Good Earth. In 1950, she published an article in The Ladies Home Journal entitled, "The Child Who Never Grew," which was later republished in book form.

In the article, Buck told the story of her daughter, Carol, who was developmentally delayed due to phenylketonuria (PKU), and whom Buck had placed in New Jersey's Vineland School when she was nine years old. Then Dale Evans, star with her husband Roy Rogers of a hugely popular television show, wrote in Angel Unaware about her daughter Robin, who had Down syndrome and died at age two.