The Politics of Down Syndrome Paperback – 30 Sep 2011
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This is a timely book that is as important as it is unusual. The 'problems' of people with Down syndrome are often discussed - less so those of the world they find themselves in. Political decisions that profoundly affect (or even prematurely end) the lives of people with Down syndrome are taken by policymakers with little knowledge of the condition and almost always without asking people with Down syndrome what they think. This book highlights many of the prejudices behind these decisions, and many of their consequences. In so doing, it provokes a debate that is urgently needed - one that is not just about Down syndrome but about human differences, human diversity and the defence of individual human rights. --(Frank Buckley, CEO Down Syndrome Education International)
Fascinating - at last a concise, well written examination of Down's syndrome which not only presents a historical perspective and political analysis but has the added advantage of deriving from personal experience. --(Andy Merriman, Writer and broadcaster, co-author of BBC Radio 4 drama 'Minor Adjustment')
About the Author
Kieron is father to Tanzie (aged 5, who happens to have Down syndrome) and was recently involved in the 'incident' with so called comedian Frankie Boyle. He is MD of The Book Depository, the UK's largest specialist online bookshop.
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Top customer reviews
It is this ignorance that has spawned the most upsetting and distressing discrimination against people with Down's Syndrome.
Maybe things are a bit better than they were a while ago, but there is still a long road to travel before we can say we're a fully inclusive society.
I personally think it's 'medicine' that needs to change, rather than politics having had years of dealing with doctors for my youngest sibling who is, firstly a person, not a 'sufferer' of a 'syndrome'.
His book describes how we as a society have created a terrible assumption that Down's = suffering, expense, low-life expectancy, early death, unemployment etc etc and we routinely 'screen' expectant mothers sending a 'very strong signal from the very start, principally that Down syndrome is such a serious condition that a national screening program is necessary; which is the case in the UK and of many other Western countries.'
A person with Down's syndrome is a person, not an expense on society's budget.
I applaud Kieron's worthy writing.
You get thrown headlong into a word thats different and a world that also judges and hates.
yet there you are with your child, they are a child first, syndrome after.
even professionals forget and comedians like to use out of date info to boost their career.
This book is written by someone with insight and knowledge which many of us could and can learn from
This isnt just for parents of Down's syndrome, its a wake up call book for a society with out of date views
Stero typing society because they dont realise little was put into seeing the potential of those with Down's syndrome
Those that do can tell you a few things.
Its something that the Frankie Boyles of life should read em and weep
but i am maybe bias
I am just a human being wanting to progress in knowledge, I have many faults, i am human, but I dont judge others too much,
life has a way of it hitting you back!
Years ago i had some wonderful friends as been a country secondary school we had the wonderful experience to have inclusion of some disabled, I was honoured to be one girls friend, sadly she died at 13 during yet another operation.
Few years on I worked with my first person With Down's syndrome, in a cafe. wonderful experience.
Years on and typical children, I prayed I would have a child with ds - I am blessed now.
But this writers book is a wonder to anyone in the world, not just parents, there is so much here that its a must to be shared throughout the world
Kieron shows up the limitations of a purely psychological (self-help) approach by stressing structural - political - factors and how they affect the way Down Syndrome is viewed and addressed in policy and practice. In a consumerist society, Kieron argues, we `become too obsessed with the personal' and so lose sight of the political environment. One aspect which links the personal and the political is the use of language and the book has many illuminating examples of how critical terms (such as `ethical', `technical' and `human') are defined and redefined in support of prevailing orthodoxy. Kieron's argument eloquently sheds light on the situation of people with Down Syndrome - and the challenges facing any minority group which finds itself marginalised and stigmatised - and he offers pointers for change. I learnt a lot from it and recommend it.
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