Q11: Loving Andrew – Chapter 9

“I was a bad mother.” P. 100

Again, we can empathize with Wyllie’s feelings of guilt.  This chapter allows us to look at how the tragedies in the home affect Andrew. Recently, I read a statement from Dennis McGuire, Ph.D., about visual and memory skills of people with Down syndrome.

“We discovered that many people with Down syndrome have photographic visual memory, which can be incredibly helpful to them. They are visual learners, and love anything visual—movies, pictures, or any kind of images. But they also tend to take in images and keep them forever, and to replay past memories as if they are happening all over again. While this can be beneficial if the experiences are positive, problems can arise if they recall negative experiences. So we find many people with Down syndrome tend to be a little too susceptible to phobias. If they’ve had a bad run-in with a storm or an animal, any time they encounter a storm or an animal in their current environment, they may replay the original first experience of fear. They are also a little too susceptible to traumatic experiences. So we do ask that people keep an eye out for that, and if there are changes, this may be an indication they may be kind of re-experiencing a past trauma or phobia or some experience that affects them negatively.”

Published by Global Down Syndrome Foundation:


Does your child seem to have this type of visual memory?

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