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Disability Action Center NW

Exceptional Entertainment

The Boys Next DoorWhat is an intellectual Disability? Intellectual Disability is a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communication, taking care of him or herself, and social skills. These limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child.

“The Boys Next Door” is a story about Jack Palmer, a social worker whose job has taken precedence over his personal life. His job is to help four men with intellectual disabilities live independent lives in their group home. As the movie begins, they have just moved into a new neighborhood and become the boys next door!

The boys consist of: Norman, who works at a donut shop and has a thing for keys; Barry, who thinks he is a golf pro and doesn’t communicate well with his father; Arnold, who is into all things Russian and has a habit of spending money; and Lucien, who is into Spider Man and must testify before the state senate.

While the movie has comedy scenes that will make you fall down laughing, it also has a warmth and understanding of people who have intellectual disabilities, who just want to live independent lives. It shows the beauty of life when things go right for them and the terrible blows they suffer due to others not understanding what they are going through or not understanding their limitations.

Jack, the caseworker, wants to help them, but he also thinks it is time to move on with his life because his deep commitment to the group is endangering his relationship with his wife due to the time involved. The hard part is trying to say good-bye to the guys he cares about.