genius (or near-) level Down's Syndrome individuals?

i am a scientist’s thread on Down’s Syndrome made think of another related
question: are there any genius-level Down Syndrome people? Does the condition
automatically doom them to being below-average in intelligence?

I always thought one of the conditions of having down syndrome was an IQ below a certain level. Like mild mental retardation on down.

“The average IQ of individuals with Down’s syndrome is in the 40’s (within the “severe mental retardation” range). They are more directable and have more manageable behavioral problems than individuals with other causes of mental retardation.”
“Mosby’s Medical, Nursing and Allied Health Dictionary gives an average IQ of between 50 and 60 for Down’s syndrome individuals although IQ scores of 120 have been found in some individuals with the syndrome.

I think it’s safe to say the answer is “no”.

The claim that some DS kids are of average or genius level intelligence was made recently in this post but his (her?) claim was never backed up by a cite. In fact, in this post, **jackmanni **offered a cite that plainly says the opposite: “Developmental delay – All children with Down syndrome are delayed, although this may not be apparent until the child is beyond infancy. IQ scores range from 20 (severe mental retardation) to 85 (low normal). Overall learning abilities are usually equivalent to a 6 to 8 year old child without Down syndrome.” That cite is from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center information page on Down’s Syndrome.

Here’s a bit on an artist with severe Down’s Syndrome: Judy Scott. While not intellectual intelligence, obviously something wonderful was going on in her head.

Chris Burke, an actor with Down’s syndrome, successfully portrayed quite a few challenging roles, including an extended guest star sequence on Touched by an Angel and then was the star of the series Life Goes On. Rather obviously, he specializes in characters with Down’s syndrome – but nonetheless does a fairly successful job in creating and portraying fairly challenging if somewhat melodramatic characterizations. He is also part of a professional folk group.

WhyNot, I never found the site where I read about some DS indivduals having genuis level IQs. Was a couple of years ago, and I didn’t save the site that said it.
However, as I said in that thread, the research methods can be really inaccurate.
I do know that until recently, it was thought to be impossible to have an autosomal (numbered chromosome) chromosome abnormality and not have MR. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t told that I had my particualr genetic syndrome until I was in high school! The karyotype CLEARLY indicated that I had it (and it’s full blown, and was able to be picked up by the technology of over 25 years ago) But my doctors said that I couldn’t possibly have it. The closest thing I have to MR is a learning disablity. Even in that area, I do have basic skills. I just don’t understand higher math. If that happened to me, I wouldn’t be surprised if out there, there’s someone with Down’s (and not just mosaic) who has a genius level IQ.
I even know of a Downs Syndrome girl in my state who is in COLLEGE! It’s not impossible!
Oh, and WhyNot…jackmani’s statement is inaccurate. Developmental delay IS NOT nessarly a synonym for mental retardation.

in order to have MR as a dx, you have to have low IQ plus a disabilty affecting 3 areas of dailing functioning in the above list. It’s possible to have developmental delay without being MR. Developmental delay is more of an UMBRELLA term, rather then a specific term.

Oh and WhyNot (checks pants) I be a female, although i think gender roles and labels are dumb as heck. :stuck_out_tongue:

While I can’t really answer the OP’s question, based in my experience with a Spanish association that works with Downies, I am convinced that an adequate environment can really raise their IQ and ability to function.

In the darkest corners of Spain they still find people with Down’s who have spent their life in the local equivalent of a chicken coop (there was one last Christmas in Galicia, which is as dark-corner as you can get and not be in a coal mine). Compare that with someone who’s spent his whole life at home taking care of the cows. Now compare it again with someone who’s gone to school. Even if their genetics weren’t different, I expect that the first one would test much worse than the second, and the second worse than the last. The last is the only one who’s used to the concept of “test”.

There are Downies of average intelligence. That is, if you consider that it takes average intelligence to get a law degree. True, I only know one, but I’ve known her since she was in diapers :slight_smile: