Down syndrome was named about 35 years ago after Dr. John Langdon Down from London. He was the first doctor to be able to describe this syndrome.
In the past people who had Down syndrome couldn't go to school because people didn't think they could learn. Babies who had Down syndrome were put into institutions. Children with Down syndrome have many health problems. In the early 1900's most children with Down syndrome only survived to age 9, until antibiotics were discovered.
In 1959 Doctor Jerome Lejeune discovered that people with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome. Instead of having 46 chromosomes in each of their cells they have 47. The #21 chromosome doubles, this is called trisomy 21 and is the most common cause of Down syndrome. Doctors still don't know what causes it to happen.
In the last 25 years doctors and educators have been finding out that children with Down syndrome learn better raised at home the same as anyone else.
In 1971 the Pennsylvania Association of Retarded children estimated that there were 50,000 retarded children that were not allowed to go to public schools because of their handicaps.
In 1975 Public Law 94-142 The Education for all Handicapped Children Act passed. It is now renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Public Law 101-476. (I.D.E.A.)
Since this law passed, all children are now able to go to public schools no matter what their handicaps are.
Integration of handicapped students into regular classrooms helps them learn better.