I don't believe that I ever spoke to him. He stayed at home with his mother, and never attended school. How lonely he must have been. This sounds so cruel (and was), but it wasn't considered so at the time; no one was intentionally cruel to him, no one made fun of him. Due to our ignorance (and that of our society), he was quite totally ignored.
Although Down syndrome was first described in 1866, the disorder wasn't identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy until 1959, when I was 12 years old. Simply put, this means that people with Downs have at least a part of a 21st chromosome.
Individuals with Down syndrome tend to have a lower than average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate learning disabilities.
Although I learned about Downs over the years, it was purely intellectual knowledge. It took a child to educate me. It took a child to make me, half a century later, cry for my cousin; not for his condition, but for our ignorance and inattention and for his exclusion.
Meet Riley LaBorde, the daughter of Alena & Gerard LaBorde. Riley is a precious little girl, and has a wonderful mom and dad. Here are a couple of Riley's Easter photos.