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Down's Syndrome : The Biography
by Chris Nancollas
Publisher:DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
The choice of the word ‘biography’ might seem a little strange for a book about a condition, but when reading the book it becomes very evident that to look at the past understanding and treatment of Down's Syndrome is an important part of grasping attitudes and treatment today. Indeed, the book could also be described as a ‘history of attitudes’ as the author examines past understanding of people with handicaps often demonstrating the sheer horror of treatment of people with problems. The author, a retired GP, has worked with Down's Syndrome patients, but beyond some necessary medical details, he does not blind the reader with science but looks more at attitudes which in turn translate to treatment. Although concentrating on one particular condition, the author brings to the mind of the reader a more general attitude to how modern society deals with those who don't quite fit in but do need society to provide the correct kind of care. One is left pondering at a time of public sector cutbacks, including the closure of Remploy establishments, whether progress to date might grind to a halt unless society does take on board the need of its less able citizens.
A fascinating and worthwhile read.
Reviewer: Carole Burrows (26/05/12)