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Friday, December 19, 2014

The Lives of People With Down Syndrome

I have come across a few photo essays on people with Down syndrome that are worth sharing. So often we read about the high school student being named Homecoming Queen/King; or the student with a disability who was allowed to shoot a basket or score a touchdown. Not to discount what those events mean to each of those individuals and their families, but this first story in particular touched me so much more than the other type of stories.

This story And Holland Has Tulips is quite unlike any I've read before. Along with the photographs and written description there are also a few audio and video clips. The second video especially is well worth watching. The twist on this story is that Alyssa, an adult who has Down syndrome, is the caretaker for her older sister while their mother is at work. The video shows the care with which she transfers her sister, mostly immobile and non-verbal, from her wheelchair to her bed and tucks her in for a nap. It is a story that is beautifully told.

Looking for Alice is a photo documentary by Sian Davey about her daughter, Alice. She reflects back on the emotions and experiences she had upon Alice's birth and finding out she has Down syndrome...and exploring her own prejudices and fears. "I wonder how it might be for Alice to be valued without distinction, without exception and without second glance." Indeed.

And then there is this interesting series of portraits by photographer Rick Ashley of his brother-in-law, Michael in Conceptual Portraits of a Man With Down Syndrome Reference Art History and Superman.


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Mom24 said...

You are such a wonderful advocate and you do it in the most natural, matter of fact way. Can't wait to check these out.

Rebecca said...

I've been reading your blog for three years.. I found your blog after my niece was born and we found out she has Ds.

I have a question and I don't know how else to contact you. All of a sudden there is some major hype about this speech program called Gemiini. Have you heard of it? They are heavily marketing to families in the Ds community. But I can't find any reviews that sound genuine. Do you know anything about it? Or know anyone that has tried it?