Before these laws were passed, children with disabilities had a very difficult time gaining an education. Society underestimated their learning capabilities. The few chances children with disabilities were given to learn were unsuccessful because of the lack of an appropriate teaching method.
Today, there is the opportunity to start early intervention from birth. There is greater understanding about mental retardation and how it affects brain development, which in turn enables society to make the necessary accommodations for both children and adults with disabilities. Early intervention provides a stronger foundation for the child to learn and develop skills later in life.
Agencies throughout the United States and in other countries provide continuous services to families who qualify. The Association for Retarded Citizens, which was started in the 1950s, is one such organization. These services provide employment opportunities, socialization opportunities, and daily living assistance to adults with disabilities. The ultimate goal of these agencies is to teach the adult how to function as a part of society and with the most independence possible.
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