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Down Syndrome

  1. Sue Buckley

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0283

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Buckley, S. 2010. Down Syndrome. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


People with Down syndrome are first and foremost people. They are men, women, and children who live with the condition and its consequences. They usually enjoy life and want the same things out of life as everyone else. As adults they want and have the right to live with dignity and choices. Increasingly, children with Down syndrome in enlightened communities attend nurseries, preschools, schools, and colleges with their mainstream peers and participate in their communities. As adults, they are increasingly living semi-independently in their own homes, finding work, enjoying leisure facilities, finding partners, and getting married (Buckley, 2000). While this is true in the more developed countries, it is still the case that, in most parts of the world, many children with Down syndrome die young, most of those who survive do not have access to education or health care, and the majority are institutionalized. The point to stress is that, as in the experience of all other human beings, the development of children and adults with Down syndrome is strongly influenced by the care, education, and opportunities available to them. Negative attitudes toward individuals with disabilities and ignorance of what they can achieve are still widespread and diminish their lives and the lives of their families.