ERIC Number: ED303945
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Down Syndrome and Developmental Mythology.
Gunn, Pat; Hayes, Alan
In exploring myths surrounding the development of persons with Down syndrome, this paper discusses briefly the characteristics of Down syndrome, the origins of the myths, the status of the myths in light of current empirical research, and reasons why developmental psychology has clung to some essentially counter-developmental assumptions. Emphasized is the myth that individuals with Down syndrome exhibit uniformity in their physical appearance, musical ability, personality, and limited intellectual development. It is argued, on the basis of historical analyses, literature reviews, and the results of a longitudinal study of children with Down syndrome, that many of the ideas about these children are not strongly supported by empirical evidence. Reasons are cited for the continuance of the myths, including: little systematic research exists, much of the research was conducted in institutional settings which perhaps exaggerated the sense of homogeneity, and recent evidence seems to have been subjected to a process of oversimplification. (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Australian Developmental Conference (5th, Sydney, Australia, August 26-28, 1988).