Down Syndrome Research and Practice 6(1)
If we look back at the history of the world association movement for Down syndrome, the impression we have is that during the last decade of the 20th century the aim has been to consolidate the common strength of this independent movement in the world's developed countries, seeking public commitment and collaboration, claiming the representative nature of the collective and organising more solid and better managed structures. The families, professionals and persons with Down syndrome, working together in the associations and federations, try to adapt to the circumstances, to contribute new and specific solutions, to change social attitudes and respond efficiently to the needs of persons with Down syndrome, which is basically the only thing that should really matter to us
The Social Development of Children with Severe Learning Difficulties: A Case Study of an Inclusive Education Initiative Between Two Primary Schools in Oxfordshire, UK
Dew-Hughes, and Blandford
This case study of primary age children in two linked Oxfordshire schools investigated the contribution of staff attitudes and practices to inequalities in education, and contrasted the socialisation of children with similar learning difficulties in different educational placements. Participant observation of a group of children and carers in a special school suggested areas of more rigorous inquiry. Structured observations compared this group with a matched sample of children with similar learning difficulties in a mainstream setting. Staff on both sites were invited to comment on findings arising from analysed data in order to identify attitudes and policies which might account for the observed differences in practice. The study was engendered by experience of ifferences arising from educational placement. The theoretical stance arose through reviewing previous work, predominantly the debate on inclusive ducation, and the wider issues of human rights and equal opportunities embedded in the social development of people with disabilities. The theoretical framework underpinning this study is established in some depth. The project was designed to investigate issues of the wider social perspective, by conducting a micro-study of one model of educational inclusion whose outcomes have direct relevance to those issues.
Observational Learning in Children with Down Syndrome and Developmental Delays: The Effect of Presentation Speed in Videotaped Modelling
Biederman, Stepaniuk, Davey, Raven, and Ahn
Children with severe developmental delays (three with Down syndrome and three with autism as the primary diagnosis) observed a videotaped model performing two basic dressing skills without prompting, verbal or otherwise, or explanation by an instructor. In a within-subjects design, dressing skills that were presented at a relatively slow presentation speed through videotaped modelling were eventually performed better than those presented at a relatively fast speed. These data in combination with evidence from this laboratory that passive modelling of basic skills is more effective than interactive modelling (e.g., Biederman, Fairhall, Raven, Davey, 1998; Biederman, Davey, Ryder, Franchi, 1994; Biederman, Ryder, Davey, Gibson, l991) suggest that standard instructional techniques warrant reexamination both from the basis of instructional effectiveness and the efficient use of the allotment of teacher time.
John Langdon Down was the son of a village grocer. Born in Torpoint, Cornwall, in 1828, he was the 6th child of religious parents. He worked in the family business until he was 18 years old and he then qualified as a pharmacist before ultimately entering medical school at the London Hospital. He won numerous medals and prizes and immediately after taking his medical degree he was appointed medical superintendent of the Royal Earlswood Asylum for Idiots in Surrey. He reformed the institution and his efforts at classification resulted in his description of what he called Mongolian idiocy. His findings were based on measurements of the diameters of the head and of the palate and on his series of clinical photographs. He was a pioneer of the use of photography in hospitals. Mongolian idiocy became a widely used term but in 1961 a group of genetic experts wrote to the Lancet suggesting four alternatives. The editor chose Down's syndrome. WHO endorsed this later. Langdon Down was a supporter of liberal causes. He made important contributions to medical science, developed a large practice and he died a wealthy man in 1896. Normansfield, his private training and educational centre, had an international reputation. Only recently has his place in medical history been recognized.
Thyroid disorders are common in the Down syndrome population but many specific areas of importance remain to be resolved. A detailed review of previously published case reports and research studies highlighting the clinical association between Down syndrome and thyroid disorders was undertaken. Historical, epidemiological, immunological, diagnostic and treatment issues are addressed. Recommendations for future management and research are considered.