Thursday, July 28, 2005

Live and Learn....

That is what I believe to be the greatest gift of life,,,,to 'Live and Learn' each day. To explore who we are, what our beliefs are and how we grow, change and evolve, but most importantly to learn from those around us and acknowledge when we are wrong.

The post below was writen in response to a comment that someone posted on a Listserv I belong too, making light of semantics and joking about why someone would choose to use the scientific term T21.

I wrote from my brief understanding of my daughters genetic condition, I also wrote from the emotions of a mother. When I hear the word 'Down syndrome' I immediately think of the term Dr. J. Langdon Down used to descibe children with T21 as 'Mongolian Idiots'. That word to me is synonymous to Dr. Down. So for me, it is a term I dislike. I use 'Down syndrome' often because that is what the general populion understands my daughters genetic disposition to be....but I prefer T21.

But as pointed out by a very respected doctor who probaly understands Down syndrome better than anyone I would like to share his response and to acknowledge that I used the term racist in a very careless way.

"Dr Down was not a racist. He was a compassionate doctor who did a lot for the children under his care and made the first big step torecognizing that the children with this condition had different needs and could be helped. His term "mongolism" reflected the scientific thinking of the day, that there were five races of men that were different of color, features and temperament, and he felt the features of the children with mongolism had similar features to the people of the Mongol race."

For me, I prefer the term Trisomy 21, so it would have been just suffice to state that using Trisomy 21 is the most accurate and non-embedded term to use to descibe my daughters genetic make-up.

Live and Learn.

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