Forrest Gump is a film that portrays the life of a man who has borderline intellectual functioning, from when he was young, all through his adulthood. Forrest was the victim of ongoing bullying and abuse from the mean-spirited children in his area.
The movie shows the challenges he faced and how he overcame them, some with luck, but others with his ability; despite the fact that he has an IQ of 75. The story plays off in a series of decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a slow-witted yet athletically prodigious man from Alabama that had an influence on the later half of the 20th century in the United States.
Forrest as a child was bullied and had rough times growing up; his relationships were limited by his lower intelligence and compromised social skills. His mother Sally Field played a very big role in his life: teaching him, looking after him and furthermore helping him understand the true way of life. Forrest had an IQ of 75, and was not admitted into public school until his mother slept with the principle. Due to a crooked spine, Forrest was forced to wear leg braces that made it difficult for him to walk.
Although Forrest was bullied he had many obstacles growing up. He was a very talented runner, football player, served in the United States Marine Core, man of his word and had a very loving and caring personality. Forrest had a positive influence on a number of people’s lives growing up such as: his friends in the Marines, Jenny the girl he grew up with and later the mother of his son, and also his mother Sally. Like named above Forrest helped shape the 20th century. Even though Forrest had an IQ of 75, luck was on his side.
He was the one that introduced the famous dance to young Elvis Presley, the 1st investor in “Apple “and created the symbol of a very well knows smiley T-Shirt today, but he did a few things not by chance or luck, but by pure skill. He was an excellent athlete, excelling in sports such as running, football and even table tennis.
He started a shrimping company, from a single boat and it turned into a multi-million dollar company. Forrest was also an excellent father that taught his son, who had no trace of any mental incapability just like his mother use to teach him.
As named before, Forrest has borderline intellectual functioning. This is a disability that effects how well or how fast a person can think and learn. People with this disability vary in their reading skills and mathematical abilities. Although a mentally challenged person seems to be completely
different to a normal functioning person they are not so different. They also have needs, desires and joys and wishes to exceed in whatever they do.
There are number of reasons for borderline intellectual functioning: this may be a result of brain damage or birth defects. However, social, environmental, medical and cultural deprivation account for most retardation cases and these causes can be prevented. Borderline intellectual functioning is not a disease, it is a mental illness. Symptoms include: poor attention, poor concentration, poor common sense, and poor judgment to name a few.
Forrest shows this disability through his hard time understanding things, it took him a very long time to understand what he needed to do in a football game, or when Jenny was very sick he did not realize how serious it was.
Forrest also has no common sense, he invests money left, right, and center without thinking of the obligation that might occur, he also at some stage took of his pants to show the president of the United States where he got shot during a war attack. Borderline intellectual functioning is not curable. There is only treatment for a person with this disability.
The only thing that can be done for people with this disease is to send them to special schools, teaching them behavioral skills, like Forrest’s mother did and to always maintain working and living arrangements. Studies regarding partial borderline intellectual functioning I came across an article that lists Myths and facts about people with mental retardation and found it interesting as to how some of them relate to people’s ideas of this disability, furthermore how the movie represents it.
Myth 1: “Non-disabled people are obligated to “take care of” people with mental retardation”, this is not true. Shown in the movie, Forrest got assistance from people in his life, but Forrest preferred being responsible for himself, he shows this by living by himself and also being able to live away from home for a long period of time.
The second myth which relates to the first one: The lives of people with mental retardation are totally different from people without mental retardation. Forrest had a very normal life, on the controversy he had an exceptional life, and he achieved things most people cant. The last one I would like to stress, Mentally Retarded people cannot have sexual relationships. Forrest had a woman in his life that he later married and had a child together. Forrest showed affection, he was caring and made a brilliant father.
The second article I found was about the needs of infants and toddlers with borderline intellection functioning. Firstly, to be fare Forrest did have some “extra” needs, but definitely not to the extent that it is unbearable and noticeably more than a normal child. Forrest had a leg brace because of his crooked spine, but later got rid of it and became an above average runner. Although Forrest’s mother had to sleep with the principle to get him into public school, Forrest still passed and moved on to college.
Also shown Forrest in the military could remove and put together a gun faster than anybody else with a much higher IQ, moreover Forrest could function a big boat by himself, seems simple but considering all the things to know about the ocean, rules and regulations makes it not as easy as it seems.
The article shows research that healthy development of a mentally challenged baby or toddler should start from an early age. This prevents and/or minimizes their potential for development delay, “the sooner you start working with a child, the better he has to reach their full potential in a daily living”.
Reason being, by giving them this head start they will be able to keep up with their peers. This is clearly shown in the movie, Forrest’s mother from a very early age taught Forrest very important life skills that helped him later on in his life. This article also mentions that this healthy development will minimize the need for special education and services once the child reaches school age, proven, Forrest went to a normal public school.
The last case study is a more technical, its statistics and test on children with borderline intentional functioning (BIF) or intellectual disability (ID). It describes the sub average intelligence and impaired adaptive functioning arising in the development in the period 18 years and younger. They say that BIF and/ ID is a development delay. Approximately 10% of children have some learning impairment; while as many as 3% manifest some degree of BIF/ID.
To measure BIF/ID they look at a child’s IQ tests, if it translates in a score of 70-75(Forrest) they have a degree of BIF/ID furthermore they look at functional life styles areas or adaptive skills. These skills include communication, self-care, home living, and use of community resources, self-direction, leisure, health and safety. This being said and according to the study Forrest has a mild (IQ: 55-75) trace of borderline intellectual functioning and intellectual disability.
Forrest had an intellectual disadvantage but it did not stop him from achieving in life. The biggest problem today is that society looks down upon people like him thinking that they are not capable and treating mentally/intellectual challenged people like children. The lesson to be learned from this movie is to never judge someone on their disabilities and it is possible to lead a normal life despite of it.
http://www.myhealthyfeeling.com/borderline-intellectual-functioning/ http://therapistunlimited.com/understanding-borderline-intellectual- functioning/ http://www.in.gov/spd/files/Myth.pdf http://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/01/28/2013-01522/change-in-terminology-mental-retardation-to-intellectual-disability www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=mIWd3T1xjec&feature=endscreen), (www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=I2qbEbHZMM8&NR=1) (www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WPkwQbUWpU