The article shows that the main problem in children with trisomy 21 is not in the organic impairment itself, but in the estrangement from communication with other people. The term "mentally retarded" actually shows that we are not able to use adequate methods in teaching a child. The author describes the following main principles of working with children with Down syndrome: believing in child's personality and creativity, supporting his/her inner powers and potentials, taking into account his/her zone of proximal development. The article substantiates that normal children and children with trisomy 21 should study together.
Keywords: personality, mental development, Down syndrome, mental retardation, zone of proximal development