Seen as Sick: Conjuring Illness to Deny Full Humanity

“Is there a vagina?” I asked the midwife. After a summer of crop-killing drought, rain fell the day my last child was born. For the first time in two months, we turned off the air conditioning, opened our windows and a soft breeze cleared out the re-circulated air. Sitting on my side of the bed, […]

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Part 1: A Painful Week in the Down Syndrome Community

Real Community, Virtually When Lyra was four months old, I met a woman at a meeting for new parents of children with Down syndrome. A few weeks later, she sent me an invitation to join a Facebook group titled “(’12/’13) Moms with Kids Rockin’ the Extra Chromosome.” I remember thinking the title was a bit […]

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Lyra’s Latest: Fully Human & Needing a Civil Rights Movement

Your daughter was born with Down syndrome. Do not expect her to read, write, do math or ever drive a car. A physician said these words to the parents of a buoyant baby girl, aptly named Grace, in the days after her birth at UC Davis Medical Center. It sounds like something a doctor might […]

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