Little remarked-upon trend of the early to mid-90's beginning with Chris Burke's appearence on "Life Goes On", peaking with the first World Special Olympics in New Haven, CT, and the release of Forrest Gump, and declining with the release of Dumb and Dumber. As with most crazes, it had a kernel of truth: (some) people with Down's Syndrome can have relatively normal lives given such things as computer assistance, and even facilitated speech, and special counselling, (some) can be mainstreamed into normal elementary school classrooms, and (some) of them can be/are charming, attractive, and talented enough to bear public scrutiny. Since Down's Syndrome is associated with being born to an "aged" (35+) mother, this was held out as a comfort to many Baby Boomer women who'd postponed childbearing -- even if the baby isn't perfect, it still can be rewarding to raise. Fuelled by Political Correctness, and the Disabilities movement, the trend gave rise to a Dolly Downs baby doll, and lots of postmodern talk about how superfluous Wechsler-scale intelligence was, especially in a postliterate world where the Word was rapidly becoming extinct (although very few of the people being discussed said that of themselves, of course). The trend rapidly folded due to the realization that a) the Special Olympics, although a big self-esteem booster for the participants, drew few spectators beyond the participants' relatives, b) being able to program, instead of simply use, computers, actually took the kind of left-brained intelligence that most postmodernists were saying was obsolete (and was much more likely to lead to a high-paying job independent of their parents), and c) however idealistic mainstreamers were, and how much coaching children were given that their "special" classmates were fun to be with, most of them just thought that stupid people were icky.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.