Saturday, 17 February 2007


People with Down syndrome are usually easily recognisable by their facial features, even while they are obviously members of their own families. Every text book and description of Down syndrome provides a long list of physical characteristics, many of which are insignificant, and all of which occur in people without Down syndrome. And few things get up parents' noses like a professional reaching for a child's hand to see how many palmar creases he has when they are being consulted about something entirely other ......

But one very commonly shared facial characteristic is often overlooked, even by those who know many people with Down syndrome very well, including parents. We generally do not feel comfortable with "they" statements, but "they" do have the most beautifully shaped eyebrows - finely drawn arches, beautifully curved, that almost never merit cosmetic interference. Many of us would have paid a great deal of self- indulgent money to achieve and maintain such fine brows!

Yes it's trivial in the scheme of things, but given the other trivial feaures that attract unwarranted attention, a delightful distraction. If you're a parent, the next time someone shows undue interest your child's palm, point out his gorgeous eyebrows instead.