The movie portrays that there are a number of issues relating to the nature of the 'difficulties' or 'retardation' in individuals of low ability, sometimes known as the 'delay versus deviance debate'. Following Lustig (1999) that is, are those without and those with learning difficulties following the same developmental trajectory, but with the 'retarded' individual doing so at a slower rate; also, will 'retarded' individuals reach a lower ceiling, or are there qualitative differences in the paths they are. Challenging behavior is not a transient phenomenon. Many people show such behavior throughout their lives. Challenging behavior includes physical assault upon others, the most frequent example, damage to the environment, self-injury, severe noncompliance, persistent screaming, pica, public masturbation, inappropriate sexual behavior and recurrent vomiting (Vanderschie-Bezyak 2003).
The analysis of Arnie's behaviour allows to say that mental retardation is characterized by subaverage general intellectual functioning which has originated before the age of 16 years and is associated with impairment in adaptive behavior manifest as: (1) delayed maturation, (2) slowness in learning, and (3) social adjustment. The whole classification had three parts, clinical, behavioral and intellectual. The clinical section was introduced into hospital practice. This statement, although relating specifically to mental capacity can equally be applied to all interactions that health care professionals have with people with learning disability whether it be medical, educational, therapeutic or social (Rimmerman and Raif, 2001).
The movie supports research studies and current literature on the topic of mental retardation portraying that siblings and relatives are affected by illness of one family member. in their research Vanderschie-Bezyak (2003) and Rimmerman and Raif (2001) found that for some people, their development may be erratic and at certain times the person may appear to have reached a plateau which continues for a longer period than expected. When this occurs, it is necessary to investigate if there are other contributory factors which have gone undetected. For example, a hearing loss or unrewarding experiences in cases where the person's attempts have been ignored, or conversely where every need of the person is anticipated and met, thus reducing motivation to communicate.
In "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", mental retardation results in suicide of the father 17 years ago. It is possible to assume that the father suffered from mental illness and it was the caused of the suicide. The causes of mental retardation are diverse, but critics underline that family history is one of the possible signs of mental illnesses. Also, the movie portrays that, Bonnie, a mother of the ill child, suffers from some kind of the mental illness resulted in obesity and overeating. These life circumstances lead to isolation of the family from society and loneliness (Rimmerman and Raif, 2001).
Through the character of Arnie, the movie depicts hat left to themselves, many children spend less time close by their parents and caregivers compared to other children. Those who do tend to stay close may look toward their caregiver to show off what they