The past, dismal and distressing as it was, gives us an opportunity to savor our progress. It also offers a chance to re-commit ourselves to making even further strides in the future.
The past is not pretty. Institutions were often overcrowded and didn't come close to meeting what would be considered minimum standards today. At the time, people were often referred to as "mentally deficient" or "mentally retarded."
Thanks to the commitment and activism of hundreds of parents, change began to occur sometimes small, barely discernible changes but changes, nonetheless.