IT MUST BE commonplace today for any physician counseling parents of a retarded child to have them relate, often with astonishment, that with identification of their own problem, the floodgates of reminiscence in respect to a similar affliction in families of relatives and acquaintances are for the first time unloosed. Many factors doubtless account for an increase in freedom of discussion of a pervading condition, heretofore often destined to be denied or hidden. In this particular society at least, the persuasive influence of John Fitzgerald Kennedy has been paramount. Research, though difficult, must lead to further clarification. An excellent elaboration of its many aspects has recently been published in Mental Retardation. A Review of Research, edited by H.A. Stevens and R. Heber, which was reviewed in the May issue of the Journal (109:473, 1965).
Nonetheless, while research goes on, the sick are still with us. The relative importance of the