Medicine: Retardation: Hope and Frustration

FROM the moment Tracy was born, Arthur and Claudia Albertsen of Chicago knew something was wrong. The doctor kept saying that delivery had been normal; nurses, who usually bustle cheerfully around a new mother, were strangely silent. Says the mother now: "Tracy came into the world not fully completed. She is literally missing part of her brain." The victim of a chromosomal abnormality, Tracy suffers from what doctors call "profound" mental retardation. At 21 months, she can neither walk nor feed herself, nor say the few words that most children her age have...

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