Our Hidden Children


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7. LONNIE
I ONNIE is a handsome child of nine.
H has now spent one year in the House
Martha Avenue and has made no advanc
whatever. So say the records. Lonni
is not a mongoloid. His mother believes he'
the way he is because her labor when he wa
born was so long and difficult. But nobod knows. It's imperative that some learn
for there are many in the nation like 'enone knows how many because all subnormals ar
lumped together in the submerged four million
Lonnie has a beautiful smile. His face
eyes are expressive. Watching him, oneexpect
him to rise up suddenly in revolt against hi
own presence among mongoloids. He never does
He rebels, but against other, more obscur
things. He speaks, a word that sounds like
"yes But that one word is the answer to ev
erything. He speaks no other.

But he laughs. That's the startling thing
about Lonnie, his laughter. It breaks fort
suddenly, fok no apparent reason, if he happen
to be alone or with more than three or fo
persons. His mother reports that he stands, i
given a chance, before a mirror at home, an
laughs and laughs. This wouldn't be so bad if
while he laughed, he didn't tear his cheek
with his fingernails, leaving real scratches
His mother stopped this by pasting cellophan
over the mirror. Lonnie stopped laughing
the mirror, and clawing himself, though he can
still see himself through the cellophane.

Why does he not laugh hysterically when h
is with three or four of his schoolmates
though one or more of them may laugh hysteri
cally? Why must he burst out with laughte
when surrounded by more than three or four? I
there here a hint of claustrophobia? If so
how is it expressed, since closed rooms quie
rather than make him tense?
The principal feels that he laughs at him
self because he knows, though he can't say it
that there is much he should say, and do,
be, that simply won't come out. Does h
scratch himself with some idea that he'll ope
a way by which to express himself? Medical ex
aminations find nothing physically wrong.
"Lonnie "niereis a challenge," says the princi
pal. sam ing, just in back, jus
beyond . ." She shrugs. She hasn't "found
Lonnie. She hasn't given up hope, but time i
passing. He looks so wise, so appealing.

There is one thing about Lonnie; when on
discusses him, he always knows, or seems t
know, that he is being discussed.
"Even when he's in another room, with
door closed," whispers the principal, turn
her back on Lonnie, "I feel as if he hears
and understands. But why doesn't he come oh
and"
It is again the room before the toilet
This is the basic place. The visitor ha
o an u i an th in
e
y
By ARTHUR J. BURKS<
This series of articles may startle some; to others, it
will be repulsively out of place in a magazine such as The
ABERREE. But there are times when even we can be serious.

Described herein is the C2dld Guidance Center of Lancaster Penn. Since there are an estimated 4,000,000 of
these "unfinished children", it could be, may be, next door.

After the abridged manuscript has been printed serially
in The ABERREE, the book will be published and the profits
donated by Mr. Burks toward helping these hapless victims of
xplained genetic tragedy. Maybe the mental therpists among our
have some idea as to how they can help, too. -- The EDITOR.
agreed to help with Lonnie. Any visitor may
find a string that the principal, with all her
dedication, has missed. That's one of the awesome things about these women who work with
the variously feeble-minded: they know how
little they know. They don't produce degrees
from famous colleges and universities to prove
they know everything. It takes the feeblee minded to humble the intelligent.
n The rites are prolonged, so the visitor
studies Lonnie. The principal has asked him if
e he'd care to play with toys in a tall closet.

Lonnie's expressive eyes look into the
toys, not one at a time, but the mass. Is he
selecting? He sits on his legs, tucked back
' under him, feet on either side of his Bute tocks. He's supple, almost loose-jointed. His
arms dangle. His hands brush the floor. His
d eyes move over the toys.
"He may sit like that for hours," says the
s principal. Hell look at the others as they
select toys before his eyes, as if he couldn't
e understand how they can select toys, when he
can't."
Lonnie turns and looks steadily, smilingly,
first at the principal, then at the visitor.

His big eyes ask such questions. Principal and
h visitor see the hysterical laughter start in
s Lonnie, deep down. But Lonnie knows instantly
/ that the laughter bubbles. He thrusts his
f right forefinger into his mouth, bites down,
d and the laughter is stilled before it can get
started.
s The visitor wonders if, by some chance, Lonnie hears what the principal says, deep inside
e himself, where nobody normal could possibly
n hear. Che visitor turns his face, his eyes,
and his thoughts on Lonnie. In the midst of
the toys in the closet there is a white, foote long fire engine.
"Look at the white fire engine!" the visitor thinks at Lonnie.
/ Is it coincidence that Lonnie seems to look
s at the toys in detail rather than in the mass,
, and at the white fire engine specifically? He
t shakes his head.
"Put your hand (the visitor doesn't specify
- which hand) on the white fire engine."
Instantly Lonnie shakes his head. He looks
ni • at the visitor, as if not sure he has heard
e aright, or heard at all. Meeting the visitor's
n eyes, he looks back at the toy closet. His
- left hand moves out, hovers over the white
fire engine, is withdrawn on another shake of
- the head.
t "Put your hand on the white fire engine,"
• says the visitor, mentally. "Go ahead, touch
S it."
Lonnie touches the white fire engine with
e his left hand.
o "Put your other hand," the visitor murmurs
inside himself. Put your other hand on the
e white fire engine."
g Lonnie hesitates, long. Then he puts his
, left hand on the small crank which winds the
t engine, while his right hand, fluttering and
light as a feather of a small bird, hovers
. over the chassis of the white fire engine.
s "Grasp the white fire engine," thinks the