John Langdon Down officially classified Down syndrome in 1866. Langdon Down grew up in Cornwall, England and worked in his family business until he entered medical school when he was eighteen. After obtaining his degree, he was appointed the medical superintendent of the Royal Earlswood Asylum for Idiots. He spent his time there perfecting his description of the “idiots” that lived in this Asylum. Because their physical appearance reminded him of people from Mongolia, he called the disorder “Mongolian idiocy”. When Langdon Down was studying these patients, he described them as being “humorous” and having “a considerable power of imitation” (Mark Leach). He also stated that, although “the speech [was] thick and indistinct”, they were “able to speak” (Mark Leach). Down syndrome wasn’t actually called Down syndrome until 1961 when a group of geneticists, eager to rename the disorder, looked back on his work and renamed Mongolian idiocy after John Langdon Down.
Down syndrome is a chromosomal disord...
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At the end of the day, people with Down syndrome may be different than your average, but they still can possess many unique gifts and talents. It is important to know that they experience feelings just like any normal individual. Not many people know much about Down syndrome, so rather than automatically judging someone that has DS, one should first be better informed of this disorder and try to get involved with people that have DS in different communities. During October, Down Syndrome Awareness month, there are many different activities that one can participate in to help spread awareness of DS. One example is the Buddy Walk presented by the National Down Syndrome Society. The Buddy Walk is a mile walk in different communities across the US that helps to raise money to support local and national affiliates and to promote the acceptance of people with DS.
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