History of Down Syndrome

Timeline created by rebmoran
In History
  • First Description

    First Description
    British physician, John Langdon Down, first described the condition as "Mongolism". The term "Down Syndrome" came later but is named after him.
  • Institutionalized

    In the early 1900's, when a baby was born who had this condition, later known as Down Syndrome, they were put in an institution. Parents were convinced that their child was less than human and deserved to be locked away. This went on until 1960.
  • What does it mean?

    What does it mean?
    French Pediatrician/Geneticist Professor Jerome Lejeune discovered that individuals with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome.
  • NADS

    The National Association for Down Syndrome was created in 1960 by Kay and Marty McGee after their daughter was born with Down Syndrome. They did not want to institutionalize their baby, so they took steps to ensure that it did not have to happen.
  • The Down Syndrome Congress

    The Down Syndrome Congress
    The National Association was not enough. Parents of children with Down Syndrome were working with professionals such as speech pathologists. In 1973, they form the Down Syndrome Congress, which had representatives from all over the US. However, since it was created in Chicago, some services were only located in the state of Illinois (such as the Adult Down Syndrome Center, Parent Support and Hospital Development and Mentoring Programs.)
  • Sheila Hebein Becomes Executive Director

    Sheila Hebein became Executive Director of NADS in 1979. She worked closely with two other national recognized affiliations - the National Down Syndrome Congress and the National Down Syndrome Society. She implemented many new programs and helped many new parents.
  • Parent Support Volunteers

    This group was created by NADS to help new parents who were concerned about having a child with Down Syndrome. This provided parents with trainings by other parents and doctors to prepare them for almost any situation imaginable.
  • Baby Doe Law

    In 1982, a baby was born with Down Syndrome as well as an esophagus condition. A procedure could have been done to save the baby's life, but the parents reasoned that her "quality of life" would be bad anyways, turned down the procedure and the baby died 7 days after birth. This prompted action to be taken and it is now a law that "quality of life" is not a reasonable excuse to turn down a medical procedure.
  • School!

    In 1993, Chris Hebein's parents sent him to a Montessori school where we received an excellent education. He went on to get a job and works a 40 hour work week. This proved that people with disabilities, and specifically Down Syndrome, could be successful members of society.
  • NADS President

    In 2007, the president of NADS spoke at a genetic conference regarding the early detection of Down Syndrome. NADS supporters were fighting the fact that parents are able to abort fetuses when they find out the fetus has Down Syndrome.
  • Today!

    Today, children with Down Syndrome are allowed to live normal lives, just as any typical person would. They can go to school and be in a classroom, get jobs, live in apartments. Society has come a long way since the founding of Down Syndrome.