LETTER: Sensitivity to People With Down Syndrome


In the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Reports posted on February 7, 2007 there was a terrible incident described. A young man was shot multiple times with a BB gun. This is a horrible assault on a member of our community, but mistakes in the article cause another problem. First, the author misspelled "DOWN SYNDROME" by adding an "s," which is a common mistake. Second, the article says the young man "suffers from Downs Syndrome." This is an outdated way of describing a person "with Down Syndrome."

As a father of a little girl with Down Syndrome, and a special educator, I know that people that have Down Syndrome are NOT suffering. My daughter is a joy and loves life. My sister also has Down Syndrome and she will even tell people about it, counting it as a part of who she is.

I do not know if these mistakes are from the Corporal that served the summons or from the author of the article. Either way, please be more sensitive to the information included in all articles in the future.

For more information on people with Down Syndrome, please see the National Down Syndrome Society at http://www.ndss.org/ and our local Down Syndrome support group at http://www.angelsforeverup.org/ .

Todd Hoglund

Somd.com Editor Responds: Mr. Hoglund, we are certain the author meant no disrespect to the victim. We have updated the article to reflect your comments. We thank you for bringing this issue to everyone's attention.

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