beware_the_sluagh wrote:In some ways, I think having the condition of Down's syndrome obvious on looking at a person is useful, because it lets you know how to respond to the person, and how they are likely also to respond.
Uh, sorry, no it doesn't. I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but I want everybody who reads this thread to know that everybody with downsyndrome is different, just like everybody without it.
Is down's syndrome always quite a serious disability? I assume so, because I can't see how there can be grades of severity with regards to a specific genetic abnormality. However, the article says it would be unfair if the child was turned down for a job based on their looks; wouldn't any job she got mean that the employer would have to know about the down's syndrome anyway?
call it a "specific genetic abnormality" but it's because of the extra dosage of all
the genes on Chromosome 21. Depending on your genes, your downsyndrome will vary.
95% of the time, the extra 21st chromosome is from a non-disjunction, where one cell gets an extra chromosome during division, and the other cell does not get one.
Therefore, DS is not a spectrum any more than having two copies of a single Chr is a spectrum.
People with downsyndrome might or might not have any of the following: epicanthal folds, small nose, smaller jaw (but normal size tongue), single palmar crease, MR, low muscle tone, poor coordination, malformations of the heart, or intestine, and any of these can be more, or less prominent than other traits, or completely absent. There is no one with Downsyndrome that can be put on a line from "mild" to "severe" although that is how they will measure whatever MR may be present.
This is why a person with downsyndrome, like someone with any other label, has to disclose any special accomodations they need, because aside from the fact that the general public doesn't know anything about downsyndrome, everyone's needs will be different.