In a new video, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) captured the candid reactions of individuals with Down syndrome to common, discriminatory generalizations made about Down syndrome. The following assumptions were obliterated by the good-humored answers of a handful of Brits with Down syndrome.
People with Down syndrome can’t learn
One mother of a daughter with Down syndrome said, “she’ll be able to do everything, it’s just we’ll take the scenic route.” Heidi Crowter, a hairdresser with Down syndrome who has been in the news for opposing the search-and-destroy mission of prenatal screening and abortion of children with Down syndrome in the U.K., listed her work qualifications. Crowter even lives on her own.
Adults with Down syndrome are like children
Claire-May Minnett, an actress with Down syndrome, said that people speak to her as if she’s a child. “Yes, it’s patronizing,” she said. “But some people do the head-tilt as well. Oh, bless her! Isn’t she lovely! How old is she?”
Down syndrome is a disease
“Some people come up with words like, Down syndrome ‘sufferer,’” said Sarah Pickard, who is the first person with Down syndrome to ever hold the office of councilor. “The only thing I suffer from is bad attitudes.” Minnett agreed: “We’re bringing something different to the world that other people can’t.”
Down syndrome testing
On the topic of prenatal screenings for Down syndrome, interviewees were unequivocally opposed. “Babies with Down syndrome can be aborted at 40 weeks whereas [for]a baby without Down syndrome, obviously the cutoff is 24 weeks,” said Bekki Asher, “So I think there’s an ethical question there.”
Do you wish you didn’t have Down syndrome?
“I don’t wish that,” said Crowter. “I wish that people will see Down syndrome in a positive light.” Pickard: “My motto in life is: Down syndrome, so what?”
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