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Down Syndrome History You Need to Know

How did John Langdon Down Contribute to Down Syndrome Studies?

Video Information by Michelle Blankenship | Article by J Van Robays  | U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine

When John Down was 18 years old, he had some kind of mystical experience. He met a girl that appeared so unique, that he would consciously or unconsciously spend his whole life searching for this phenomenon. He decided to study Medicine, became the director of the largest asylum in England and wrote articles and books about the phenomenon that fascinated him. Anthropometrically and photographically, he portrayed a well-defined group of individuals, whose members all resembled the little girl very well. Today they bear his own name: syndrome of Down.
NOTE: The original article uses out-of-date language to describe individuals with disabilities and may be offensive to some readers. Digitability does not condone or support the use of these terms nor is it language that our team uses. However, the historical significance of the content of this story is important to understanding the evolution of services provided to individuals with disabilities.

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