Myth: People with Down syndrome do best in self-contained classrooms and institutions.
Fact: Placement in either an institution or segregated classroom is a decision made by the student’s team based on individual need rather than strict requirement. There are people with Down syndrome placed in these environments but this is not the norm. An integrated life amongst those without the disorder is highly possible and is encouraged. Specialized support for Down syndrome is available in nearly every city, big or small.
Myth: If you have Down syndrome, you are always happy.
Fact: To believe that a person is incapable of experiencing a range of emotions is cruel. This disorder does not negate emotional health no more than any other condition. People with Down syndrome are capable of dealing with the emotions of others and expressing their own, if allowed, which is true for anyone else.
Myth: A person with Down syndrome is incapable of marrying, forming bonds with others, or living away from home.
Fact: Marriage is an option for everyone who wants to be married and Down syndrome does not automatically limit a person from experiencing it. Dating, socializing, making friends, moving out, marrying, and having children are all things that should go on a person with Down syndrome’s to-do list.
Teachers are taught and trained on how to work with persons with Down syndrome but even that special experience does not stop us from making human mistakes. With humanity comes fault, and it is not uncommon for teachers to forget that special education was created to address the challenges the individual faces rather than to label and broaden prejudgments relatable to a disorder. No disorder can definitively limit a student. All things are possible for the student to accomplish with the right education signified by specialization.