This film is part of Free

One Per Cent of Us - So Many Children

Parents and teachers of children with learning disabilities offer moving and practical accounts of their experiences.

News 1966 38 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Made at Downham Special School in Plymouth in Devon, the camera helps us to visually engage with the children at school and focuses on Ian, Alison, Lorraine and twins Edward and Leslie as their parents and teachers narrate. Mongol was a term used to describe people with Down syndrome or trisomy 21, a theory discounted by physician John Down ten years after he discovered the disorder in 1862. Mongolia lobbied the United Nations to eradicate the word now regarded as offensive.

Filmed over twenty years three documentaries examine the lives of disabled children. So Many Children (1966) looks at the parents and teachers of disabled children. Children No More (1976) follows the same children into adolescence highlighting changed perceptions around them. One in a Hundred (1986) catches up with the same children in adulthood and explores dependency. Set in the context of changes in governmental policy and the evolving attitudes of society towards the disabled, these films represent a commentary for the way disabled children, disabled people and their families have been treated in general.