Stories about Down syndrome
October 18, 2010 12:25 PM   Subscribe

My Great Story (flash heavy) - The National Down Syndrome Society is building a collection of stories celebrating the lives of the 400,000 people with Down syndrome in the United States. Know someone with Down syndrome? You can contribute too.
posted by plinth (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'll have to come back to this sometime when I access a computer without heavy flash issues--yes, you did warn me; i'm not complaining. I just wish the site was more accessible.

My wife's cousin Dave just celebrated his 40th birthday. Dave has pretty significant disabilities along with his Down Syndrome. I know my life would be less rich had I not had a friendship with him--I've known him for 39 of those 40 years.
posted by beelzbubba at 12:46 PM on October 18, 2010

I managed a group home for mentally retarded multiply diagnossed adults in a former life and had one client in my home with Down. I'm not saying he wasn't a great guy with an interesting sense of humor and the occasional pearl of wisdom fit for an M. Night Shyamalan screenplay, but most of my memories of him are not exactly what one would call inspirational. I'll leave most of the tales to your imagination, but I'd say his hyjinx would more inspire a remake of American Pie or Porky's than appropriate fodder for this book.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:15 PM on October 18, 2010

For what it's worth, the site does not require you to interact with the Flash content on the front page. There is alternative navigation. And the individual video pages actually have almost zero Flash content and can be reached without even interacting with the Flash stuff on the front page.

Yes it's annoying that the front page positions a large (928pxw) SWF front and center, but that is a non-issue in my opinion because today, most browsers are capable of blocking Flash either natively or via add-ons or extensions. Anyone using a computer that has Flash issues should consider going that route. I do this and whitelist only the sites where I actually have a need or desire to use/see their Flash stuff.
posted by christopherious at 1:27 PM on October 18, 2010

A Taco Bell I worked at back in the day employed this aging (I'd guess early 40's, but Down Syndrome modifies many of the the key indicators one would reference) Down Syndrome sufferer to sweep the floors and stuff, with very limited success; the person working the register (which was usually me) would always need to check, and often redo anything she attempted.

One day a kindly customer gave her a five-dollar tip. Unfortunately, that made her begin begging other customers for equivalent tips, a behavior her assigned social worker couldn't seem to break. The manager eventually had to fire her temporarily, which made my work far less aggravating for the span.

Her presence there was a net negative so far as I could ascertain, but when the manager hired her back he explained to me that giving such people employment was somehow financially advantageous to the larger corporation in the form of tax breaks or grants, or somesuch. The realization that I was being paid (minimum wage!) to babysit a... person with profound mental disabilities in addition to the actual work of servicing fast food customers was rather enraging.
posted by The Confessor at 5:56 PM on October 18, 2010

Wow, sorry Confessor, that someone with profound disabilities made your life so difficult to the point that you got enraged. At the corporation I hope and not at the woman.

It's only anecdata, but I remember a man with Down syndrome working at a Taco Bell in Farmington Hills, MI. He was unfailingly polite and kept the dining room there in better shape than many fast food restaurants I've seen, perhaps because he could appreciate how difficult it was for him to even get and keep a job, what with people's natural suspicion toward difference.
posted by beelzbubba at 8:52 AM on October 19, 2010

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