I cannot judge you, though many do. For you are one of the few that braved the storm, paved the way, created change for those of us who came later, whether you realise it or not. Your resolve has taken a battering, you cannot let go of the dream of a simpler life, yet it is precisely this lack of acceptance that has pushed you to your very limits.
Gone are the notions, in this country at least, of individuals with Trisomy 21, as it is also known, not being worthy of lovely clothes, of having to wear hard-wearing institution garments, of shameful regulation haircuts, of being 'put away and forgotten' as they were segregated from society in institutions.
Hold your horses just one moment Mr Dawkins. I think perhaps you are confusing non-essentialist, humanist thinking with a loss of humanity here. You are so very wrong on every single count above that it would be eye-rollingly laughable if it weren't so hurtful and damaging. Adults with Down's syndrome are reading your outdated and bigoted views. Yes, they read, and have opinions and feelings, just like you.
The case of the Australian couple who have taken the twin, but not the Downs syndrome sibling from the surrogate Thai mother, which has been in the news this week raises some interesting ethical issues. I don't mean to comment directly on that case here because the facts of that particular case are far from clear. The only thing that is clear is that it is very sad that it has happened. But what were the alternatives?
Austerity, and online petitions have much in common. Both are dominant online topics, and both have a polarising effect on opinion as to whether they can ever truly yield successful outcomes. Petitions seem to be becoming the reposte of choice for those affected by the worst effects of austerity, and today I read about a case that exemplifies this brilliantly.
It is an overblown cliche that people with Down's syndrome are "loving and giving"... I am the first to harp on about banishing stereotypes and trying to get the message across that people with Down's syndrome are more like their parents and families than they are like each other. We are all individuals and are influenced by our experiences and those around us.
Welcoming 1,700 athletes, from 12 different sports disciplines, into our beautiful city of Bath and seeing the Flame of Hope arrive to mark the start of the Games was really something more than just 'special'.