Do people with Down Syndrome have lives that are worth living?


11 Answers

Janis Haskell Profile
Janis Haskell answered

My daughter certainly does.  She loves going to her job every day and has many friends.  She always starts the day with a smile and enjoys life more than anyone I know.  Being her mom has been the greatest pleasure and privilege of my life.

Mohamed Saber Profile
Mohamed Saber answered

The lives
of individuals affected by Down Syndrome are no less valuable than the
lives of anyone else. It's unjust to impose one's own set of values
regarding what makes life enriching upon someone else. Down Syndrome is
an impairment of intelligence quotient, a set of specific tests designed
by psychologists to benchmark specific cognitive abilities. While
having a high IQ is important for many things in life, such as being an
engineer, it is far from the only criterion for having an enriching
life. Intelligence in the sense of IQ is useful in many aspects of life,
but having a good sense of humor, a life-affirming and life-loving
attitude, and having a heart big enough to feel others' happiness and
sorrows also enrich life tremendously -- and are forms of intelligence
in their own right. Individuals with Down Syndrome are not lacking in
any of these realms, and from my own experiences and observations, I
have yet to encounter someone with Down Syndrome lacking a sense of
humor or a big heart.

Imposing one's own moral standards upon
others is very dangerous to human societies and civilization. The past
three centuries of history (and really every century I can think of) are
badly tainted by catastrophies that resulted directly from disturbed
individuals imposing their own values of what constitutes a valuabe life
upon others. Once this happens, we lose diversity of culture, thought
and genetics. Thank goodness the eugenics movement became a bad
collective memory in human history rather than a persistent element of

One miracle of life is its dynamic persistence through
time: Evolution. While an individual with Down Syndrome may not have a
high likelihood of becoming a quantum physicist, they may become a
remarkable artist, parent, activist, or leader, for example, and their
children may in fact become quantum physicists or any other
life-affirming human being devoting themselves to enrich the great human



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Phoebe Mertens Profile
Phoebe Mertens answered

Of course they do, as do people with autism and other disabillities.

Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

The more I look at this, the more I think this is a particularly hateful question. (I like the responses though).

Cindy  Lou Profile
Cindy Lou answered

If you want to be around someone (and hopefully longer than just the usual meet and greet) that will:

1. Instantly change your life for the better

2. Inspire you to see the world as it should be seen

3. Make you see that you've been doing life "all wrong"

4. Give you insight in such a simple, yet genius, way

5. Teach you what is REALLY important, and what isn't

...and they do all these things innocently and without intention, then be around around a Down's Syndrome person....hopefully,  the longer the better, and by that I mean the longer you know them,  the more you will understand what I am saying here..

I firmly believe they are like bees to a flower. They spread insight and a beautiful simple reasoning which should make us realize just how much we've screwed up this earth. Amazing amazing people ...a true gift to this world.

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

By whose standards?

You can't expect somebody with Down Syndrome to function at the same level as a person with full faculties, but they have the capacity for personal fulfillment and happiness.

In 1995 the British crime series A Touch of Frost presented an episode called Appropriate Adults. It was about a young man with Down Syndrome who was accused of abducting a little girl. But during that show, they showed a little of the life of such people and the prejudices that haunt them.

What was very moving was the romance -- yes, and sexual love -- between two of the leading characters who were not acting, but suffered from Down Syndrome in the real lives. I learned much about my own attitude and assumptions from that show.

I'm going to embed it here though you'll need plenty of time to watch it. It runs for 1 hour 46 minutes. If you have the time, and the interest, it's worth it.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
I didn't know about all that. I've been using the Internet for about 15 years now but never got into that side of it. Thanks for the explanation. And, yeah, I did wonder about the size of the box.
SuperFly Original
At least youtube allows long videos now!
SuperFly Original
Anyway, nice post. I enjoyed reading it.
SuperFly Original Profile

That is a personal feeling im not sure if anyone can answer that unless they are the one in that position. But for the most part, yes. Ive seen and met people with down syndrome and they looked to be having at least as much fun as me!

But who knows, I hope they can enjoy life.

Pepper pot Profile
Pepper pot answered

I'm not sure of the intent of this question, but I'm considering those who may have had a test and found out their baby has Down Syndrome.  My answer is yes, they can live fulfilling lives.  Yes, it will be harder work having a child with Down's Syndrome because of learning difficulties and they take longer to reach developmental milestones like walking and talking, despite that they still, more often than not, attend mainstream schools. As adults they may need additional support in helping them understanding finances. They can suffer problems with their eyesight, thyroid and heart (but then many who don't have Down Syndrome can also suffer health problems). I know adults with Downs, Brian has been working on the buses for years, he must be in his 40's now and still cheers me up when I've been waiting at a stop. Another lady (I don't know her name) works in my local shop and has done so for several years. They work, they live fulfilling lives and they fall in love just like everyone else. There is lots of support on offer for both parents and those with Down's.

Tom  Jackson Profile
Tom Jackson answered

I have known two women who were the mothers of children with Down's syndrome.

Both talked of their experiences with them as their mothers in nothing but glowing terms and conveyed how affectionate, loving, and guileless they were.

I only met one of them---and he was in his early 20's.

I felt good just being in his presence---that doesn't happen to me with anybody that quickly.

His "goodness" was what radiated from him.

He was indeed a "special creation."

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