Thankfully, the visit was quick and efficient and John Michael cooperated very well to the different lights and lenses flashed before his eyes.
I've always been struck by John Michael's eyes. Last year at our first eye appointment, I learned that John Michael has Brushfield Spots. I'd first heard of them in Jennifer Graf Groneberg's book Road Map to Holland.
From Wikipedia, "Brushfield spots are small white or grayish/brown spots on the periphery of the iris in the human eye due to aggregation of connective tissue, a normal iris element. These spots are normal in children but are also a feature of the chromosomal disorder Down syndrome. They occur in 35-78% of newborn infants with Down syndrome. They are much more likely to occur in Down syndrome children of the Caucasian race than children of Asian heritage. Brushfield spots are named after the physician, Thomas Brushfield, who first described them in his 1924 M.D. thesis."
I was looking at the sources used to come up with this short definition. Source #3 comes from Hugh R.E. Wallis' The Significance of Brushfield's Spots in the Diagnosis of Mongolism in Infancy, 1951. There's that word... "Mongolism." Man, that bugs me! Every now and then I still hear the word Mongoloid. That's another word that needs to go.
I even read that Dr. Down himself classified our children as "Mongoloid Idiots". If he were still alive, I think the Down syndrome community would have something to say about that! We'd be sending emails, calling and correcting him. If he could just see our children and adults with Down syndrome now, he'd be amazed at how far they've come... and he'd be busy doing a whole bunch of re-writing!
This photo, above, is one of my favorites taken recently at the water spray park that really show off John Michael's Brushfield Spots. There are so many wonderfully unique things about John Michael, but his eyes truly transport me sometimes to another place. A beautiful, peaceful place. I call it heaven.