Thursday, November 27, 2008


It sounds like an insult and is often used as such, but in fact it is the correct scientific term for the appearance of Down' s syndrome people.

Have you ever spent any time with such people? They are the nicest bunch of folk you could meet. Their world view is very simple. No deception, no double talk, no hidden messages. No messing around with trying to work out what they really mean, or what they think. They tell you straight. If they don't like you, they say so. If they do, they might try to hug you (a little disturbing, but honest, although they often have overdeveloped musculature so brace yourself). No, they are not all stupid. They aren't likely to be company directors but some are perfectly capable of living without meddling do-gooders getting in their way. The stupidity of 'normal' people who have no genetic excuse for it far outweighs theirs. At least they don't make you guess what they intend to do or say. They just come right out with it. I like them all. Effortless conversation is always good.

The numbers of Down's syndrome children is increasing. When pre-natal screening for the condition appeared, parents chose often to terminate a Down's child and I can see why. They were looked down on and regarded as less than human. They were different. Some needed considerable looking after. The do-gooders often took over the parent's and child's lives. So, many opted for termination. Now the number of Down's births is higher than before the screening.

Now, there is less stigma attached and more help available to those who think they need it. So the terminations are in decline.

However, Down's people are prone to a variety of other ailments, notably heart problems. It is a genetic malfunction and certainly not to be desired, if such a thing as choice were available in the situation. Which it isn't.

While I can agree that the birth of someone a little different should not be in any way discriminated against, I have to ask, based on that report...

Is it a cause for celebration that the number of genetically-damaged babies is on the increase?

It does make me wonder if something, perhaps something environmental, isn't right.

(I have never come across a ghost with Down's syndrome. I have no idea whether 'mental' disabilties in this life carry over to the next. Physical ones certainly don't.)


Catana said...

There are parallels between Downes and Autism/Asperger's, and you've given me a few more to think about. Blunt no-games speech: acceptability/non-acceptibility. Associated physical problems: acceptable/find a cure. Some serious contadictions in attitudes that need to be explored.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes wonder if all we do - be it vitamins/supplements, meds, intervention, treatment, whatever, isn't messing with the harmony nature is trying to maintain. We dabble and get consequences - for better or for worser. Perhaps we should be letting nature take her course.
Does 'can' equal 'should'???

Romulus Crowe said...

Catana- be careful with comparing Down's to autism-spectrum diagnoses. Down's has a specific set of symptoms and a specific cause - autism-spectrum has neither. That's why its net catches so many.

Anonymous - Pharmaceutical companies are not in the business of curing people. They are in the business of making money. If nobody needs pills, they go bust.

So there is pressure to sell pills and therefore there is pressure to extend the range of diagnosis of any pill-related illness. Especially if it's incurable because then they have a customer for life.

I don't trust them.

Southern Writer said...

I had a cousin with Down's when I was a kid. I remember that she looked very different from the rest of us, and I was told she was Mongoloid, but that's about all I recall. I was probably under the age of eight when I saw her last, so there's not much for me to go on other than she did everything the rest of us kids did.

Romulus Crowe said...

Its the patronising do-gooders that cause all the problems. They won't let people like this even try to act independently. Everything has to be cushioned and bubble-wrapped.

I think they just like to have someone to control. A friend of mine calls them the 'Righteous' and really, really hates them.

They didn't bother me until the Asperger's diagnosis, and now I know exactly what he means!

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