This morning I got a message from Josh's cousin Chad...
"Hey just started my first day in college and in my education class we have a couple of senior students that help the professors. One of the senior students has Down syndrome and she said that even though she has that difficulty, it doesn't stop her and she is almost done with finishing her major in art education and is on her way to becoming an art teacher. I love her in the class you know, because she has a great personality and brings great energy to the class, that I like. So I just wanted to let you know that because looking at Caydence, I just see her and have so much love you know and seeing that in the class room and you don't hear of that that often is just so great. So I wanted to just throw that to you and send my love.
I was so glad he shared that with me. Many years ago people believed children with Down syndrome couldn't learn and were useless, so they just left them in their cribs and hid them away. Many were placed in institutions. In fact, in some countries, many children with Down syndrome are STILL placed in institutions.
As advances in medicine came about, like specialized surgeries, hearing aides, feeding tubes etc., doctors were able to help many of the problems that children with Down syndrome are born with and thus prolonging their life expectancy immensely. In 1929 the life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was 9 years. Now a days it is not uncommon for individuals with Down syndrome to live into their 50's or even older. The oldest person with Down syndrome is currently around 82.
As these children with Down syndrome began to live longer, people began to realize that these children can learn, it just takes them a little longer. And with therapy and more individualized tutoring, they can learn even better. The capabilities of people with Down syndrome are still being discovered.
Unfortunately the problem plaguing most people with Down syndrome later in life now a days is alzheimer's. For some reason, yet to be discovered, people with Down syndrome are much more apt to develop alzheimer's. And they do it at an earlier age. Usually in their 40's and 50's. Hopefully they can figure this out in the future and a cure can be found.
I love hearing stories about individuals with Down syndrome who have defied the odds. So thanks for sharing Chad :)