Welcome back! This week, we are diverting a little bit from the usual path of ASD-only content, but still talking about a topic that affects us just as much as it does on my new target of focus. Think about it like we are driving on two different lanes on a highway: we are on a different lane than our usual one, but we are still heading in the same direction with little variation. Also, we get to avoid all the morons who drive like they’re sonic and gotta go fast to some place, all the while weaving in and out of the traffic in the two lanes as if they are in a movie running from the cops or something (which they soon will be). Or we’re driving at night in the city. Ever try to drive in the city at night? You’d think that all the light from the cars and street lights would help improve visibility, it doesn't. Just feels like you are driving through a rave and can’t see the road markings...or the road.
Like this pic here. Perfectly captures what it looks like driving at night in the city. Sick party, poor driving experience.
Back to the topic. A while back, I heard on the CBC radio, or Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, about an interview with someone who asked a question that, admittedly, I had no idea was a thing: why is society, or at least Canadian society (though after a quick google search I soon found that we are not the only ones with this problem) trying to eliminate Down syndrome? A major reason I found in an article by the Washington Post titled “People with Down syndrome are happy. Why are we trying to eliminate them?” is a misconception regarding the quality of life.
Namely: some parents believe that a family member with down-syndrome will live an unfulfilled or a bad life. This view is (perhaps unsurprisingly) shared with certain societal beliefs. An example of this is given in the article, an opinion of a biologist in Oxford (not sure if it’s the university of Oxford, or the city of Oxford, just that he’s form a place called Oxford) which states “it would be ‘immoral’ to give birth to a child with Down Syndrome if the parents had a choice” (People with Down Syndrome are happy. Why are we trying to eliminate them? Paragraph 3). Whoa, that one comment hit the trifecta of points when coming up with an opinion targeting your least-favorite social group: dark, uncaring, and uneducated. Most people only hit one or two points.
And that’s just one example of the many depressing examples around the world the article lists of, examples like the one above, but now let’s move on too the more positive and uplifting side of the article: that people with Down syndrome are anything but living a “bad life”. There is opposition, naturally, against the unfulfilled-life argument and others like it: that people with Down Syndrome are actually a happy lot who can live pretty fulfilling lives. But not only are they living happy lives, but, the article states “they also bring a great deal of happiness to their friends and family members.” (People with Down Syndrome are happy.)
Usual story it seems: a dark, perpetually moody force tries to wipe out a beacon of light and happiness, to ensure that everyone is as miserable as they are. It reminds me of the Blue Meanies in The Beatles movie: The Yellow Submarine.
Will, that does it for this week's post. Notice a similarity here? If not, don’t worry. I’ll explain later in next week's episode were I will also shine a light on the more positive side of the issue, hinted at in the last paragraph. Until next time, this continues to be, the Audacious Aspie.