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This documentary was so sad to watch. This institution was a place parents would send their mentally disabled children but were not aware of the unsanitary and disgusting conditions. I could not help get emotional while watching the video because this happens in many facilities where families are not aware. The children were dirty, poor hygiene as they probably weren’t bathed often, they were forced to eat off the floor and were abused but no one to advocate for them as the families of these children were not aware. The children were being treated like animals. I can’t help but wonder why wouldn’t the staff speak up? Not one staff member? Did the families not see the red flags like not being able to go in to the facility? I lost my father to Huntington’s but before he passed, my family decided to put him in a nursing home because caring for him at home would have been too much. My family and I would take turns showing up at the nursing home at all times of the day to make sure that he didn’t feel alone and to make sure he was fed, bathed and clean. Now Patty and Louis’ parents probably felt like they were doing what was best for their family and like mentioned in the video, it was okay to put your mentally disabled Child in a group home as they probably never imagined their child would suffer such a horrific experience. The sad part is that their are so many more victims with disabilities that go through so much abuse but it doesn’t get reported.
This video was really sad to watch. First, I think it’s a disgrace for people to treat children like this because they are at a disadvantage. Second, I don’t understand how the family of these children were okay with leaving their children at Willowbrook just because they couldn’t handle taking care of their disabled child. They were going to visit their children and knew the conditions that their children were in. They should’ve taken their children out immediately and reported it.
It is really unfortunate that elderly people in nursing home’s experience this same kind of abuse. The family puts them in a facility thinking that it’s best for them but in reality it is so they wont’t have to deal with the responsibility. Monthly inspections should have been done. This is the welfare of children. Their disability does not make them less than any other children. Being in the healthcare field, I am trained that patient care comes first. The staff that were working their should have reported something. It shows how inhuman people can be.
At the beginning of the documentary, they started talking about their kids who were mentally retarded according to their doctors. Then it relieved me that they would be going to Willowbrook School for them because they would be taken care of and be able to interact with children who are like themselves. However, when Willowbrook had to lay off so many employees, the condition of the school itself and the children was horrible. The fact that they were abusing the children and such a small number of employees to tend to everyone, including the school; they should have just shut the school down. Except, they didn’t because they were making so much money off these kids which was disgusting of them. Not only are the people in charge harming the children but also their families. It was already hard enough that they had to leave their own kids somewhere far away from them. I think that the government should have taken charge of shutting down Willowbrook sooner because the life that these kids were living was inhumane. The law may have protected Willowbrook and its privacy, but they should have overstepped it and stopped what they were doing. In the end, it was nice to see that the kids finally returned to their own families where they can receive the love and attention they deserve.
This documentary truly conveys the not just the hardships of having a member of your family inflicted with disabilities. Especially when these disabilities are inevitable, they just happen to be there and most of the time, there is no permanent solution to it. In this tragic documentary, the treatment of people who have mental retardation is revealed to not only undergo discrimination within the public society but also in their private lives where not all “schools” provide them with the proper care that they need. In the one shown in the video, the disabled children and adults were all lodged into one space, they couldn’t feed themselves needless to say they were also forced in the same hysterical environment. They had no choice of seeing who they wanted to and basically treated like dogs or animals. It’s truly inhumane to treat them this way, although they are impaired and can’t truly convey what they want, they too are humans and they have a desire for happiness that can’t simply be ignored. And because of the fact that these “children” have a constant need for care, some families don’t know what to do with them or simply can’t take care of them, leading to another major problem. I believe that there should be federal fundings into homes for the disabled, they too deserve a place in society and their families shouldn’t be overburdened in the process.
Did the people who ran willow brook just do it for like money, and only cared about the money and not like the actual children and just wanted to discover something new? The horrible conditions of the school should have been addressed and inspected by the state honestly. Today I’ve seen like officers bust into a house because a child was potentially dying from a sickness and the parents didn’t bring them to a doctor nor an emergency room. What was the case in the past? I wonder what the people within the school thought when they were are the school and how they felt about their conditions. Also why did people put their disabled children into the school? Was it for a hope for them to have a good life? I don’t feel that the parents should have put their children inside a school when they could help them themselves and care for them unless if there were financial reasons, yet i feel like they should still fight till the end. I honestly don’t know why it took so long for them to find out the conditions and why did it take so long for people to realize and prevent it .
The Willowbrook documentary is sad to watch. This video makes me to think a lot of how people think that life is. Every single person that comes to this world, even with disabilities needs the same right, be free, and need to be full of love and compassion, exactly at the same way as a normal person needs. Also, it makes me to think about what kind of selfish people are in the whole world because there is not a better care, and a better love than a love of a mother. As that fighter and powerful woman shows during the video. She does not care what she have to do for her son to make him happy, she always will do it just to be a beautiful smile in his face. in contrast, for me having a person with disabilities is a blessing because they teach us how to value life, they tell us how to live without what other people say, and they demonstrate us that life is beyond what other people think.
It’s so hard to watch this kind of documentaries without able to feel so much sadness for all those children. My heart brooked to see in this video how children were separated from their family just because were disabilities. I cannot believe that they had to separate these little children from their parents and take them to institutions where they were not given the care they deserved. I cannot even understand how these institutions who are supposed to help children with disabilities let these poor children do things for themselves when they even did not know how to eat. It’s an injustice what these institutions do with these kids when their job is give them protection and care of them instead of abusing and mistreating them physical and emotionally. For me the most sadness part of this documentary was when the boy tells how sad he felt when other parents went to visit their children and he was expected to some of his families bring him cookies or ice cream but nobody of his family showed up. I’m also very disappointed with all those parents who They left their own children in institutions like these and never visited them, I understand that it is very difficult to have family members with disabilities but at the same time it makes me so sad that they could not have a little compassion or love for those poor children. After watching this documentary, I feel so emotional and sad because how badly is for all these people with disabilities go through, when they all need is care and love.
As an aunt to my nephew who never walked nor spoke, it feels sad to watch this. Although my nephew died last year at the age of 7, he usually communicates with us by grunting. We could tell when he is hungry, needs to be changed, or when he is sick. Coming from a less developed country, when you have a child with any abnormalities, you are left to deal with it by yourself and your family. There are no Community Homes or schools where you can go and keep the child. Watching this movie, I thought these kids were privilege to have such an opportunity and when it was mentioned that one worker is allocated 40 patients, I teared up because I know for a fact that these people need at least twice the attention that a normal human being needs. I know the parents were doing what they think is best for their kids. Taking them to the Willowbrook house to meet people who are like them and thereby living in their own environment where they can be themselves without being looked upon as abnormal (a sense of belonging). It was rather unfortunate that their expectations became their worst nightmare. As a society we can do better and treat people the way we expect them to treat us.
At first, when I was watching the documentary I was very relieved to know that kids that were mentally challenged had the opportunity to meet other kids just like themselves and learn so many new things from them. However, I was surprised to know that this was not the case at all because these poor kids were treated like absolute garbage and it is sad to know these innocent kids had no say in their treatment. They were abused for not being able to speak up for themselves and it is disgusting to know that. Also, I feel like some of the parents at the first felt the societal pressure of getting rid of their children because they didn’t fit into the “normal” child category. The Willowbrook school offered them an option in which they wouldn’t feel guilty of getting rid of their children but instead make them seem as good parents for letting their kids socialize with kids that suffer from their same problems. I felt that should be addressed because maybe if they tried to take care of their children themselves and ignored all the societal pressures maybe their kids wouldn’t have to go through all this misery while understanding nothing in the process because they didn’t have the mental capacity.
This short documentary the “Forgotten” on Willowbrook was very sad to watch. What I don’t understand about it is why people or these families put these children and even elderly in a place they were not taken care of. Although it didn’t last forever it was still a long time of negligence, abuse, and starvation for most. See in my personal opinion I think people with the same type of disability that Patty and Louis had, are the most loving people in this world they don’t see black or white, they love everything and everyone the same. Which is why the fact that they mistreated these people is horrible. They are just people that need assistance in doing some every day tasks people that needed the same type of attention as any child. Not to mention what Bernard went through with just getting automatically discriminated for being mentally challenged when that was not his condition at all, and the brutal beatings and suffering he had to go through, was extremely sad.
The video of the Willowbrook school was a very emotional video but also satisfying. You might think why I was so happy to see this video. This video told the story of 4 individuals in the Willowbrook school. The conditions of this so called school were dirty and degrading. Children were sent to this school and it was a institution for the mentally retarded. The type of abuse and neglect the individuals went thru was horrible. The care they received was worse than a prisoner. These children did not eat and if they did it was off the floor. The individuals did not get the basic adl’s or their physiological needs met. They suffered abuse and were damaged for a lifetime. The Willowbrook school was shut down after being investigated. During the years after institutions were shut down and individuals with disabilities were placed in group homes and in community settings. They were phased out and that is what makes me enjoy this video. Thinking that we now have not placed labels and are able to see people as humans and not as just a problem or an embarrassment is a progress in my eyes. Bringing awareness and educating families is now seen more and has been a big help in the movement.
This documentary film is heart touching true story based . During the late 1960’s, Willowbrook “state school” in Staten island, New York was in devastating condition due to cut in state budget. Willowbrook state school for the people with developmental disabilities became a diseased place where the kids were left to lie around naked in their own excrement due to the lack of proper attention.The parents of a developmentally disabled child were encoraged to put the child into an institution and essentially leave them there. Reporter Geraldo Rivera first exposed Willowbrook as over crowed and under low student to staffed facility ratio. The facility smelled like urine and was more like human kennel. After the coverage of the reporter Geraldo Rivera the issues of the facility was exposed and was taken emotionally.The developmentally disability was considered a matter of shame and no one spoke of such thing, it was also considered as a strain against the fertility ability of parents.
The main stories center around patty and her sisters, Luis and his brother and Bernard. Bernard who had cerebral palsy was mistaken as a developmental disable at the age of three and taken to Willowbrook. He was there for 18 years under the worst condition. Now , he works as a consultant for development disables but he dreamed of being a lawyer.
Luis did not have ability to communicate verbally, but he communicate through his smile and facial gesture.
Patty was developmentally disable but could express her love and feelings.This documentary proves that the people with developmental disability need love and care ,and every one of then are differently able.This emotional story helped victims escape from the brutal facility.
The WillowBrooK documentary is very touching at the beginning but as it continue it becomes more encouraging. It started by families sharing common experience about their retarded children. When the Dr told one of the mother that her daughter will live with her love. she then said” from this day on ward my life is hers and hers is mine”.It is very bad to see that the people who are expected to protect and care for them was abusing them physically and emotionally. They treated them like as if they where not human being , giving them less time to eat where as they could not even feed themselves most of the food has to drop on the floor and they had to feed from the floor. Being retarded does not mean they got no life all they need is care and love. It is clear from Luis and Patty how their life chances once their love ones took after their care. We can see Luis feel with emotions when the mother asked him do you need a woman? he twisted his body and give a big smile. To me this documentary is very educative because it shows us how institutions treated retarded children and the difference when they where love and well cared for.
The WillowBrook documentary is very touching at the beginning and as it continues its more encouraging. It started by families sharing a common experience of retarded children. l was touched when a mother said the Dr said her daughter will live on ward with her love, and she said my life is hers and hers mine. it is so sad to see that the people that were to care for them turn to abuse them physically treating them like dogs. Again there is a very big difference when the family member start taking care of them . We can see that clearly from Luis and Patty how different they look, they need care and love. Luis was emotional when the mother asked him you need a woman, you can see him twisting himself with a big smile. Being retarded does not mean you are totally useless in the society. Bernard was able to go to school and had a job. Therefore it is important to treat them normally to bring the best out of them. To me this documentary is very educating because it tells us how retarded children where treated years back and the difference when they are well taking care off.
It is inevitable not to cry when watching the documentary WillowBrook, from the beginning to the end you experience a mixture of feelings when you see the conditions of these human beings and the situations they go through. In the first place, people like Patty or Luis did not have the option of choosing their conditions at birth (like all of us), and the minimum they should receive from society is support and love, but it is incredible how inhuman and ignorant we are many times. Secondly, I do believe that there is a difference between people with disabilities and people who do not have them, those who have disabilities are harmless beings, while us the ones who can stop and think to make good decisions, are the ones who harm others and are cruel to each other in many opportunities. In addition, it is understanble that everybody does not get the same level of education, and clearly the documentary is from several years ago, so these parents made their “best” desicion based on what was going on at that moment. However, not matter the time or the years, many times people make choices for a good without knowing the consequences. To conclude, we have to take into account that people with disabilities have the same rights, feelings, and wants like other people, only that they must have accommodations to meet their needs, which will achieve equity. Finally, being different is what makes us equal.
WillowBrook is an emotional documentary, which tells the important of love and care disabled needed. Having a mental disability doesn’t make them less human or less importance in the society they should educate them. It sound so horrible beaten each other and not getting healthy food. The environment was just too unfavorable and not well organized to see people of that challenge, which can or definitely worsen their condition. It is totally unfair treatment to them. They need more guidance and attention to subside the emotions they are going through, they should never be neglected. They also deserve better treatment and happiness having a disabled child doesn’t mean to be ignored or abandoned in a school or an hospital they needed people around them to feel good and also they deserve equal treatment just like Louis and Patty and some others having their family check on them and been cared for. Never treat them bad due to their illness, they have blood running in their veins just like every other able human.
In this video I feel that it was very sad how the special needs children were being treated. They were treated like animals because they were locked by themselves with no one to take care of them. Even though this was a long time ago, I feel that they should have been placed in better conditions where they could have been taken better care of. They are human beings just like everyone else and they should have been treated as such. I also felt bad for the parents considering the fact that they had to give away their children that suffered this illness. More parents should have stepped up and made sure that their child was getting the best treatment. Locking these children away with no one to even feed them was just pure cruelty. I am happy that special needs people have evolved to where they are able to adapt to natural population.
The WillowBrook documentary touches on a very sensitive topic of emotions towards the family members who’ve had to deal with having a family member in the WillowBrook school. I realized how terribly these people in the documentary felt about Willowbrook because their loved ones were beyond mistreated. Leading to not being properly taken care of. Things like not being bathed and groomed. Some of the interviewers speak on how they’d visit and drastic changes would be made to their loved ones. Bruised, odors, and so on. A mother speaks on how she even had to cut her childs her off because the staff wasn’t taking care of her daughters hair. She mentions how matted her hair was so she had no choice but to cut it. She also says how her child’s fingers and toes had begin to stick together and her body had to scent a order due to not being bathed has much as anyone would be or oiled. One of the victims from the Willowbrook school speaks on his treatment while being in the school, he tells the reporter that he’s been kicked in his head and other abusive activities. I can go on with the terrible acts that were mentioned in the WillowBrook documentary. After watching this documentary I can conclude that were all human and we all deserve to be treated equally no matter our mental state. At the end of the day we all have feelings. Ones situation and not only can effect them but those who care greatly about them as well. I want to also mention how this documentary touches on how damaged some parents were because they didn’t know exactly how to feel about having a mentally challenged child. Although nothing else matter as long as the child knows that they are loved and many couldn’t feel that being at WillowBrook because of the way they were treated there.
… Wow is all I have to say. There are SO many different factors that contribute to the reason why every each one of these patients and their families were treated differently. When the BLACK lady had said that she came back to see her child and noticed that her hands and toenails were sticking together and she had accumulated an odor really touched me because she was clearly not being taken care of or paid attention to. Questions arise in my mind as soon as I hear that because I assume that the workers must have not wanted anything to do with touching her or taking care of her for some reasons……. Mhm… Also the doctors not respecting the puerto rican family… ANYWAYS, other than that, because of the way these patients were treated at the institution seemed to me that they just looked at them as worthless and non-important factors of our society. It was so easy for them to say that they should send them away and try to eliminate the issue for people to the point where this mistreatment had been going on for so long! Watching this made me feel very sad, and so entirely grateful that we have taken the steps toward better mental health and disabled person’s care in America, as it is something that people really didn’t pay attention to in the past but there are clear signs that things have changed now for the better.
It is hard to believe that an institution that was created to take care of people with disabilities was actually treating them indifferently, not having basics needs of hygiene, having no one to accompany and teach children, not even teaching they how to eat. These children who needed the most help were living in precarious situations, and it is shameful to know that the government, instead of investing in places like the WillowBrook were cutting the funds.
We as humans have the custom of conceptualizing or stereotyping people that seem “different” from us as incapable, inferior or worthless. Many times, we feel embarrassed when we are with disabled people that does something that any children would have done because of what society can think. And this is absurd because people with disabilities are much better than the ones considered “normal”. They have the best characteristics, they can see love and affection in simple gestures, are kindful and happy. This, and so many other things, makes them special! Also people with disabilities need 100% of our help, our love, our teachings; meanwhile, we have a lot to learn with them.
Honestly I would love to thin that the only problem in this video was the institution, that the horrible thing was that the government took money away from them and the budget was cut in such a bigger lever that the conditions to live were inhumane. The idea of the institution itself is not bad if it was actually a school, if they were actually teaching people with disabilities to survive in the real world with a welcome reception. However it wasn’t like that little by little they took away their what made them humans, they took away some of theirs basic conditions to survive as hygiene and decent ways to eat. But the saddest thing as that man said in the video was not the institutions it was the fact that parents would abandon their children just because it was too difficult for them to take care of them. They knew that they were not being taken care properly but they decided to keep them there and when it became too hard to look at their child being treat badly they would stop coming. Heart breaking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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