On Down Syndrome
Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or newly pregnant, you know that most prospective parents hold high expectations for their offspring. Superior intelligence, physical beauty, excellent health, and outstanding athletic ability are just a few of the qualities we dream our children will be born with. Since contemporary society tends to value these qualities above all others, it is only natural for us to hope our children possess the attributes that will provide them with the greatest opportunity for a successful life.
But what if your child arrives with a different set of qualities—a combination of traits that the world views as a disability? What if you are told that your child will have Down syndrome? What happens to your dream of producing the perfect child?
Nothing need happen to your dream. You only need to alter your definition of perfection.
In Brilliant Souls, we investigate a number of popularly-held yet erroneous beliefs about the negative impact of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome, and begin to develop a new perspective on which characteristics are truly the most desirable in our modern world. If we hope for a brighter future, then kindness, generosity, tolerance, and good humor—attributes observed with remarkable consistency in people with Down syndrome—must surpass physical perfection in terms of the enviable traits we dream of seeing in our children.
In this second edition (formerly titled Making a Case for Life), Stephanie Wincik further explores the transcendent nature of people with Down syndrome. These extraordinary individuals, dismissed for centuries as "defective", often display a heightened capacity for connecting with other people, and not uncommonly, with the spiritual world as well. In fact, the apparent inability of most people with Down syndrome to be unkind and judgmental has led some to refer to the extra chromosome found in Down syndrome as "the love chromosome".