The Damaging Language of “Cure” and Down Syndrome

Once again we’re hearing news of a breakthrough in research on drug therapies to enhance the cognitive processing of people with Down syndrome. And once again, the discussions seem to fixate on the controversial notion of a “cure.” Why do we keep having the same conversation? A guest post by Columbia Univsersity Professor and author of Raising Henry, Rachel Adams. [Read more…]

What do Down Syndrome, Abortion, and Baby Girls Have to do with One Another?

“Statistics also suggest that at least 50% of all fetuses with Down syndrome in the US are aborted. That rate becomes higher among women who have a prenatal diagnosis of DS (probably 70%) and higher still when talking about other Western nations (90%). So, while being born a girl in Asia is not exactly the same as being born with Down syndrome here, I wanted to suggest some parallels.” [Read more…]

Down Syndrome Decades Ago: Nothing But Absence

(An abridged version of this review appeared in the May/June issue of Books and Culture.) Fifty years ago, when Anne Crosby’s son Matthew was born with Down syndrome, the life expectancy of a “mongoloid” child was around twenty years. Doctors and teachers called children with Down syndrome “ineducable,” and professionals advised institutionalization for these children [Read More…]