Mongoloid vs. Challenged

I was talking with someone today who had no idea what Down Syndrome was–they asked if there was a cure available.

Growing up in the 1960s, I never had much interaction with Down Syndrome children.  In fact, the first time I saw a DS child someone pointed out that there was a “Mongoloid” in the area.  I asked if they were from Mongolia and the response was no they just looked like they were.  Have beliefs changed in 50 years?

Down Syndrome children are now called “challenged” and they are supported from birth by various therapists.  They can be mainstreamed in school and they can have careers.

When I was growing up most DS children were institutionalized–not seen, not heard.

Is acceptance truly present today?  Will my grandchild be accepted throughout his life?  Will he have friends who all look like him or will he keep the ones he has now?  Will his family continue to love and support him when he is in his 3os?, 40s?, 50s?  Will he be able to be in his own age group’s Sunday School?  Will he be asked to be in a play or sing in a choir for a holiday event?   Will he go to the prom or play on a team?

I am glad that the term “mongoloid” has gone the same route as “retarded”.  I am glad my grandson is challenged.  Right now from my perspective, his challenges are more physical than mental.  Right now from my perspective, I hold all the hope a grandmother can carry that her grandchild will be accepted and loved even when he has grown out of the cute stage.  Right now from my perspective, he will always be incredibly adorable.

Marty at 18 months

About Poetry Road/Marty Goes to Mars

Poetry storage, genealogy research and tribute to my grandson with Down Syndrome . Creativity is my outlet--expressions in acrylics, accomplished quilter , doll maker and writer. Please visit my shop sites. Thank you for stopping in!
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1 Response to Mongoloid vs. Challenged

  1. Hello. I am the mother of a little boy with Down Syndrome who is about to turn 7 in June. I wanted to answer your question with an emphatic YES!!

    Things have changed so much over the years in regards to the attitude, treatment, care, laws etc as it pertains to individuals with special needs. Not only is there an increase in awareness it seems that people are meeting my son with great curiousity and compassion. That’s something that was not seen in the past. Our kids are much more accepted than they used to be.

    I am 35 years old and I can tell you that the children with DS now are so much different than the children that I knew with DS when I was growing up. There are so many more opportunities available as far as early intervention and education. Early intervention is huge!!! They are going to school and enjoying activities and pursuing interests.

    You will enjoy each milestone with so much joy. My son struggles with a speech delay but it seems like his vocabulary grows every week. He sings and dances, he likes to read, he loves to color and play with play dough. He’s a typical 6 year old little boy.

    I wish your family the best. Your grandson is a lucky little boy to have a grandmother like you to love him 🙂


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