What Are the Legal Rights of the Retarded? Answers to your questions education of mentally retarded children the news. An estimated seven million mentally retarded people live in the United States. Mentally retarded individuals have the same legal rights to marry, drive cars, and own homes as any other American, says Dr.
Richard Redding of the University of Virginia’s Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy, and they need not pass any competency tests. Under federal law, public schools may no longer assume that all retarded children must be sent to special classrooms. Instead, every retarded child is evaluated to determine what kind of education is appropriate. Some are placed in special classrooms for children with learning disabilities, while others are placed in a regular classroom with a special aide. Such marriage laws are rarely enforced.