Letter From an Adult With Down Syndrome

 

The following Letter to the Editor was printed in the Newport Daily News, Newport, Rhode Island, on May 25, 1989. The writer has Down Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes mild to moderate mental retardation. This letter is reproduced with permission.

The use of this letter does not imply that its author, or the organizations and individuals mentioned within the letter, adhere to any specific views regarding abortion.

 

To the Editor:

 

My name is Bob Lanouette. I have Down Syndrome. I am very smart and very bright. I was born with Down Syndrome.

 

This story is about Down Syndrome, and how a person with Down Syndrome learns differently. A group of people who study Down Syndrome are those belonging to an organization by the name of The National Down Syndrome Congress. They study such things as the amount of chromosomes a person has. After reading such letters from this organization I have developed many feelings about Down Syndrome.

 

I do not understand what causes Down Syndrome. It seems that a person is born with Down Syndrome. A Down Syndrome baby is very smart, they can walk, talk and have many learning skills but as an adult it is very hard for people to understand what it is like to have Down Syndrome.

 

As a Down Syndrome adult I am able to learn many new things and develop many new skills. It seems as though people do not understand that. People must learn to understand that the Down Syndrome adult has much talent and they are able to learn and grow as anybody else can learn and grow.

 

The Down Syndrome person can learn so much in life. They have special teachers to help them, for example, those teachers who help in the Special Olympics, or those teachers who help with speech problems. There are also those people who volunteer to help the Down Syndrome person. An example of volunteers, are those at Salve Regina College who help me develop better writing skills.

Even though a person has Down Syndrome, they are very smart. We are able to read newspapers, work on computers and like myself write poetry and stories. The Down Syndrome person has much talent and uses that talent to learn and do many new things.

 

Bob Lanouette

Newport, Rhode Island