Steve Palmer's blog about his son Stanley - who has Down's Syndrome - & the extended family. All about Down Syndrome and learning disability.

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

If DS people ruled the world

This was originally on the BBC Ouch! Website

You are the boss of me now

I’ve noticed interesting research written by Dennis McGuire, PhD, of the Lutheran General Hospital in Illinois, USA. Dr McGuire asks: “What if people with Down Syndrome ruled the world”.
He isn’t for a moment suggesting that Stan should run for PM (Although I do have high expectations!)
But this research highlights some of the qualities that people with DS have. If I could have been given this article on the day Stan was born, it would have helped greatly. Instead, we were told Stan had this “thing” that may as well have been described as “a nasty disease”, by a doctor who broke the news and who then walked out of the room and left us on our own. Thanks!
I really like the bit about how people would be refreshing and honest if DS people were in charge. Stan’s too young to show these qualities just yet, but all the evidence here suggests that it’s there in abundance with people with DS.
Dr McGuire says: “Art and music appreciation would be BIG.” This means a lot to me, as, last week, I was approached by the school’s music teacher who said that Stan has been progressing really well in the sessions, and has developed his own responses to the songs. It was an empowering moment.
What do you think of this research? It IS a bit huggy and schmaltzy and there is the point that people with DS are vulnerable so need to be cared for AND encouraged, not pitched into high office. But I like the fact that Dr McGuire has used this premise to express the range of things that DS people can achieve.

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