What is wrong with Raymond in "Raymond's Run"?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Raymond is mentally challenged, with a mental age much lower than his chronological age.

Squeaky (Hazel Elizabeth Deborah Parker) does not say exactly what is wrong with her brother, but she tells us that “he needs looking after cause he’s not quite right.”  She does say that he has a big head, and her job is to look after him.

Raymond has a big imagination, but little inhibition.

[He’s] subject to fits of fantasy and starts thinking he’s a circus performer and that the curb is a tightrope strung high in the air.

She also says that he might dash into traffic trying to save pigeons.  Basically, he acts like a young child instead of an older one that knows better.

Squeaky also protects her brother from kids who insult him, tease him, or bully him.  They tease him because he can’t defend himself, and because his head is large.

Although she sometimes gets tired of always looking out for him, Squeaky respects and cares about her brother.  She wants him to be happy, and does her best to protect him.  She lets him be who he is, because to her it is important to be who she is.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Raymond is Squeaky's mentally challenged, intellectually disabled older brother, who acts much younger than his age suggests. Even though Raymond is older and more physically mature than Squeaky, she has to look after him throughout the story. Many of the other kids bully and make fun of Raymond's big head, but Squeaky mentions that she is not scared to fight anyone while defending her brother. Squeaky also mentions that her brother is subject to "fits of fantasy" and often pretends to be a circus performer or a stage coach driver. Squeaky never elaborates on Raymond's intellectual disability, but one can surmise that he is intellectually deficient given his odd, immature behavior. Raymond relies on his younger sister to defend him against the other children, has an unorthodox running style, and behaves like a young child. At the end of the story, Squeaky selflessly decides to coach her older brother Raymond at track and field.