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Monday, May 05, 2014

Law Could Change How Parents Are Told About Down Syndrome

WASHINGTON -- When Heather Sachs' daughter was born with Down Syndrome eight years ago, she wasn't given helpful information or the names of parent groups offering advice and support.

Instead, Sachs tells Maryland lawmakers, she was simply handed a pamphlet, entitled "So You've Had a Mongoloid: Now What?"

On the audio of the Senate Finance Committee hearing where she testified, the gasps from lawmakers and attendees are audible.

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, the condition occurs "when an individual has a full or partial copy of chromosome 21." Down Syndrome used to be referred to as "Mongoloidism," a perjorative term that was dropped by the World Health Organization in 1965.


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