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?

Penny and William ride the subway on her 7th birthday

“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...]