If there is one thing that is truly tragic about down syndrome is that people misinterpret the fact that there is no cure.
Now, you might be wondering: How can this hard fact be misinterpreted? If there is no cure, then there is no cure! Where’s the silver lining here!?
The silver lining is this: Because in spite of all that, in spite of there being no cure, there remains stories of hope showing us how people with Down Syndrome can still do so much to inspire. Many show a persistence and a willingness that is not limited by disability.
Some may still think such stories cliche and put too much emphasis on sentiment, rather than facts. The problem with such a perspective is that it’s only focused on a considerably narrow selection of facts about Down Syndrome.
More specifically, it’s preoccupied with the fact that the disability generally implies a degree of intellectual difficulty.
Yet contrary to this prevailing opinion, people with Down Syndrome cannot just be written off as unintelligent, difficult or even socially awkward. The truth is that, while the disability certainly creates neurological difficulties, these difficulties come in a very wide range that many people are not aware of. You can test multiple pairs of people with the condition, and their IQ levels will not automatically be the same in every instance. True, some may have more difficulty than others, but it is just as likely that others will perform surprisingly well despite their handicap.
As with people of any other disability, an individual with Down Syndrome should be seen as a unique person with their own gifts and strengths. This is also a fact.
Another fact is that hope for improvements can still be possible, even when there’s no cure. Here are some instances that can demonstrate this.
1. Early intervention for cognitive and intellectual abilities.
If there was truly no hope, then why are scores of professionals still working to help children with Down Syndrome overcome their early developmental delays? Why does intervention still result in incredible amounts of success, allowing these children to read, walk, communicate and socialise adequately without being too hampered by their disability?
The answer is simply because intervention still has a positive and lasting impact. For instance, programs that work with the neuroplasticity of a developing brain can still apply to one that has Down Syndrome.
2. Advances in research still achieve better quality of life.
Asides from early intervention and brain training programs, there is the historical fact that people with Down Syndrome have seen their life expectancy significantly increase during the past century.
Advancements in healthcare and medicine has allowed individuals a better chance at fighting life-threatening complications of Down Syndrome (such as heart problems). And as a result of their improved life expectancy, there had been more advocacy for better treatment and better opportunities to develop themselves.
3. Many families are organising support communities.
It’s no surprise that many people with Down Syndrome as well as their families have come to create very vocal communities to support each other. Neither is it surprising that their advocacy has called for the attention of numerous governments, international organisations and research foundations.
This, in turn, powers a cycle that has driven more people to develop ways that address the specific challenges of Down Syndrome. And thus, you can be sure that the intervention being used today can still see more improvement in the next decade!
To summarise, just because a person with Down Syndrome has certified limitations doesn’t mean they cannot strive at all for any sort of improvement. They can, and they can succeed!
If you need any advice or support, then know that we at the Australian Tomatis Method are still here to help you. Please reach out if you need to, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to Francoise at 0414 444 915.