This story from the Asbury Park Press highlights another important aspect of health literacy that is often overlooked - where people get their information.
Most people know of someone with Down syndrome - but it may be a sibling of someone they went to grammar school with 30 years ago, or a distant relative that they don't know all that well. And while they may know only one person, I think that people tend to use this person as their barometer for all things Down syndrome.
While personal experience shouldn't be discounted, it should be kept in perspective. Just because you have experience with one individual with Down syndrome, you by no means have an idea of the wide range of abilities of people with Down syndrome nor do you have current information about health and medical concerns.
One of the most effective ways of getting accurate, up to date information out to the general public are human interest stories such as this one featuring Conor Wright, 18, of Holmdel, New Jersey. Conor sounds like a great kid and a very typical teenage. Stories such as this, highlighting the changes in the perspective and lives of people with Down syndrome, reach a much wider audience than any other form of media that I can think of and do a great deal to educate the general public about Down syndrome.
Do you think stories such as this help get information to the general public about Down syndrome? Or do you think that people are still going to rely on their own, possibly outdated, stereotypes?