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The Politics of Down Syndrome

The Politics of Down Syndrome

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Kieron Smith

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  • Publisher: Zero Books
  • Format: Paperback | 89 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 201mm x 3mm | 113g
  • Publication date: 16 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Ropley
  • ISBN 10: 1846946131
  • ISBN 13: 9781846946134
  • Sales rank: 68,215

Product description

Are we a more accepting society than ever before? Is there no longer a them and us division between the disabled and everybody else? The Politics of Down Syndrome looks at how we got to where we are today, from the racist roots of its identification to the rising number of abortions today. Down syndrome is the most common syndrome in the world, shared by all classes and races, yet it's one we rarely address our feelings about, head on. This book, although direct and questioning, takes a positive view about where we go from here and the opportunity for society to fully enjoy the benefits of being inclusive.

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Author information

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.

Customer reviews

By Miss Mary English 26 Oct 2011 4

Kieron has bravely and eloquently taken on a subject that most people never even think about until it affects them.

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.

Review quote

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')