THE INFLUENCE OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY
President Kennedy's sister, Rosemary, had mental retardation. Until she was in her twenties, Rosemary lived with her family and enjoyed the same lifestyle as her brothers and sister. Like most families during this time, the Kennedy family did not openly discuss having a sibling with mental retardation. By 1962, however, this changed.
The parents' movement had effectively brought mental retardation and other disabilities out into the open. Eunice Kennedy Shriver wrote an article about their sister Rosemary and the adjustments that the family made.
The article appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, was read by millions of people, and further convinced parents that having a child or sibling with mental retardation was nothing about which to feel shameful or guilty.