Thursday, November 30

What Does it Mean When an Adult Has "The Mind of a Teen"?

I really hope the police find the woman from the area who has gone missing. What I have wondered about is the description of her as having the mind of a teen. What does that mean, exactly? When I was a teen, I was basically a freshman in high school. I was with my friends when we walked around and THEY made some bad decisions, like stealing hood ornaments off cars. I thought it was kind of goofy and irresponsible, and I suppose I was guilty by association, but that's the extent to which we were incapable of appropriate decision-making.

OK, we also played video games all the time. And we liked to watch Beavis and Butthead, often quoting the TV show in school. Teen girls seemed obsessed with boy bands. When I was teaching, the girls seemed to like to read vampire romance novels, but they were generally much more mature than I had been as a young teen.

It is true that some teens would run away or cause real trouble, and some will run off with their soccer coaches, but those are generally the exceptions rather than the rules. But I guess that's the problem with saying someone has a certain mental capacity. Whereas I would say an 8th grade education and mental capacity is perfectly appropriate for an adult, I guess that's not how others see it.

Anyhow, I don't want to judge on this one. Maybe it's a dignity thing to say someone has the mind of a teen rather than the mind of a child. Maybe we don't want to say someone is cognitively disabled anymore. In the end, it doesn't really matter, as long as people are aware someone is missing and possibly in need of help. 

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