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WillowBrook

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9 Comments

  1. Huong Lam says:

    this documentary film is touching. I can see the ways how people treat disabilites. They are cruel and abuse disabilites including children and elderlies for medical experiment. Hiding law to conduct brutal behaviors on human beings is non-acceptable. This emotional story affects strongly feelings of many audiences and it becomes a voice to help victims escape from that horrible hospital.

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  2. The WillowBrook documentary is very disturbing to watch. This was an institution that was supposed to teach and care for developmentally disabled children. Instead, the children were put in psychological distress. They were physically and emotionally abused, they were beaten, forced to eat off the floor, starved, and rarely showered. Worst of all, there was no social interaction between the children. Patty’s mom mentioned that she felt obligated to send Patty to WillowBrook because she felt like she had limited options and wanted what best for Patty. I think each parent in the documentary, including Patty’s mom, is a victim of what is called in psychology: Obedience, and Social Pressure at the same time. She gave birth to a child who was different and might possibly be considered as not meeting the society standard.
    Even though the conditions Patty was living in were insane, she kept her there and chose not to think about it. She felt ashamed, embarrassed and more concerned about what society think.

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  3. It was an tragedy in the Willow Brook State School the way that they treated all of the handicapped not like an human being. The society was part of this problem letting this situation to happen by putting too much pressure on the handicapped parents. It was probably not a normal to raise a child born with physical and mental disability at home back than so the parents would feel like I did not had another chose by sending them to Willow Brook state school. The fact that people like Patty and Luis were the one who needed most help and they had the same rights like other people. Patty, Luis and other students at Willow Brook would needed the best treatments. Based on the video, I saw that the way they treated students in the school were miserable. These students were getting abused whether physically as psychologically, which was a shame to society letting this scenario to happen many years. Video shows that everyone is important for society to function and it helps to redefine the concept of who is normal.

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  4. Willowbrook State School story reminders me, Bystander Effect. Member of the Families, employees and even Doctors could see what was wrong in that place, but nobody took action. I understand the families’ lack of knowledge, hoping the best for their children and not knowing what do, following doctors guidance and sending innocents to hell. But, what about the doctors in charge of the School? Did they have the intention to do some experiment? Could they do something to help the patients? This place was unmasked, but, how many more are around us in the same circumstances? Bernard Carabello was misdiagnosed by doctors as cognitively disabled, but he has cerebral palsy which is a disorder that affects muscles tone, movement and motor skills. Make me wonder how many “Bernards” have been misdiagnosed. He survived Willowbrook and now he has been called the father of the self-advocacy movement. He is a key-note speaker and consultant. In this documentary things went well for some of the patients, they were able to find a good place and make a different living, but, what about the other patients whose end probably, was not so happy.
    The crying and the agony in this video involve the whole family. They went through life, dragging themselves in shame and guilt, and even though the child was not physically present, their existence was a heavy burden in their shoulder, the families lived in regret, feeling powerless, frustrated and maybe thinking that was the way it was supposed to be.

    Sonia Chimentao

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  5. Vicki Đỗ says:

    To summarize, this documentary gives us a glimpse into the horrific mistreatment of the mentally retarded and handicapped at the Willowbrook State House. Watching this documentary was extremely unpleasant. In the film, there was a pressing ambiance towards the stigma of mental disability. For one, the decision to send these individuals to this institution was not just the family’s choice, but of the entire society. These parents were pressured socially into placing their children into an asylum that they believed could have been beneficial for their kids. However, it was anything but beneficial. These children, instead of receiving aid and the right to learn, were abused. They were forced to play by themselves and lived with poor hygiene and sanitation. It was as if the institution was dehumanizing people who did not fit in with social standards. It hurts me especially to see people who were wrongly sent here. Luis Rivera lived an unfulfilling life because his disease, cerebral palsy, was mistaken for a psychological illness. Nearly two decades of his life were wasted away in an inhumane institution. We’ve truly come a long way.

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  6. Junior Belande says:

    The only safe place for a child should be his or her home even if he or she is developmentally disabled,or mentally challenged. Watching this video made me sad and frustrated. How could we have kept this school going for so many years despite knowing what was going inside? The Willowbrook state school was a state supported institution that was supposed to care for children who are intellectually disabled instead they treated them like animals and not like human beings. People who are developmentally disabled are also human beings who have feelings, have rights, and need to be loved. Back then, parents did not know how to care for these children and felt pressure to send them away away from society because they did not meet society’s standard. The public did not know how to socially accept these children, they were not educated and lack of knowledge to properly interact with them. The public did not to deal with the unusual and people who were different from them to the point they felt it would be better to place all these children in the same place and forget about them. Children needed to be loved, cared for, and feel protected more so the ones who are developmentally challenged. They needed their parents to be their voice which many of the parents failed to do.I think it was even worse for the parents who could not care for their children and could not find a safe place for them. One father mentioned that he wanted to take his son of the school but he did not have another place to put him because he could not care for him. Since the parents could not take care of their children, they had to comply with the school and accept the living situation of their kids even though they knew it was living hell. The government also did not do anything to help protect these children and help the families in fact they cut the budget resulting in cutting staff and made the place worse. It has gotten better since then but they are still a lot of work that need to be done. To this day people are still staring and pointing fingers at people who are disabled because they are different be glad it is not you or your children because it could have been.

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  7. fausto Mora says:

    This documentary is very touching, because it is telling us the stories of all the experiences that every family had. Also it tell us about the experience that the children has when they when to the place call Willow brook and the way that they were treat. It also tell us all the accidents that the children had in that place and how people did not take care of then and they way that they feel around them. In addition it is telling us about the problems that the families had when the were trying to understand their kids, and some times how they feel about it. For example when the mother was telling her story how she felt frustrate and embarrass of her own kid because it was doing something wrong. It is important to understand that the place that is safe for the kids is their home, and for the parents to understand them and be there for then to help them when they need it, this is the message that the videos is telling us in my own opinion.

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  8. This video is very sad and disturbing. Seeing how the disabled people were treated was terrible. No human being should ever have to go through such thing. Especially when they can’t do anything for themselves. Watching them get beaten, forced to eat on the floor, and had a time limit to finish their food is horrible. After Luis’ mom found out how he was being treated at WillowBrook she decided to take him out of there. I totally agreed with the decision she made by taking him out. She mentioned that if Luis did stay there he might of died. Having a disabled child is tough because they require more attention, and more care. They are humans just like everyone else. They have feelings, they go through pain, and emotions. I commend the families for taking such good care of them. Loving them, visiting them, and making sure they know they have people that love and care about them.

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