Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Reconceptualizing Children with Down Syndrome

We were assigned to read Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Children with Down Syndrome by: Christopher Kliewer

This article discussed different stories about children with Down Syndrome and how they're regular everyday children. They shouldn't be singled out because they have a disability. These people aren't stupid - which is why I strongly despise the slang context that the word "retarded" is usually used in a lot in this generation. It's mainly used to describe someone or something as STUPID or MESSED UP. Now, what is that saying about the people that are scientifically categorized as mentally retarded?

I have a friend in a wheel chair, there is nothing wrong with him mentally but, he developed bacterial meningitis - the most common form of meningitis - when he was around 3 years old. Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the fluid in the spinal cord as well as the fluid surrounding the brain. He cannot move from his neck down and cannot speak. He communicates my motioning with his mouth. This spectacular boy is one of the most heart-warming people you will ever meet, his smile will light up a room and he touches the life of everyone he meets. He just recently celebrated his 18th birthday! He's was as happy as can be on that special night! Having a personal connection to this boy, makes me see clearly that just because he's in a wheelchair doesn't mean that he's dumb and doesn't me he can't do things like other people. He is very intelligent and very caring. It makes me sad when people turn away from children with special needs, they're regular human beings and everyone deserves to have a chance at a great life...

This video is about a boy named Joe, he has down syndrome but this doesn't stop him from being educated and learning just like every other student. This video was remarkable to me, the enthusiastic look on this child's face when he correctly spelt a word or pointed to a certain place on a map. This video shows that just because he has a mentally disability doesn't mean he can't function mentally and excel with his learning. He's very inspirational...

The National Association for Down Syndrome has been serving people with down syndrome and their families since it was created in 1961. It was founded by parents that decided to go against what everyone  the medical opinions and raise their children with Down Syndrome in their own home. "Our mission is to ensure that all persons with Down syndrome have the opportunity to achieve their potential in all aspects of community life. We offer information, support, and advocacy. " 

Also, The National Down Syndrome Society was founded in 1979 by Elizabeth Goodwin and Arden Moulton after Elizabeths daughter was born with Down Syndrome. "The National Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities." They have over 350 groups all over the country. Those groups include local parents and other organizations that work together to help children with down syndrome and their families.

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