Browsing in one of my favorite little shops in the mountains recently, I was heartened to find a 1930s studio portrait of a Down Syndrome baby, so tender and pure, peeking out from under a flannel veil. When I got home I researched the subject and discovered that yes, there was a time that existed before the days of stigma (that seem to correspond with the invention of "Hollywood") when parents proudly and lovingly honored their Down Syndrome babes. In praise of my dear brother Jon who turns 40 today, I share these images, beginning with the one I found:
An excerpt from an article published this month in the International Journal of Paleopathology:
"Archaeologists have exhumed the remains of a child with Down Syndrome who was buried some 1500 years ago in medieval France. Such cases are rare in the archaeological record. What's more, the way the child was buried suggests the child was not stigmatized in death."