Do you have a friend or family member with Down syndrome? Have you ever thought back to the moment his or her parent found out about the diagnosis? What was that moment like for the expectant or new parents?
Lauren, a blogger at Sipping Lemonade and mother of a daughter with Down syndrome, writes about receiving the diagnosis,
“I look back on those first days and I remember the feeling of craving normality. I didn’t want to hear how life would be forever altered in some big way and that I would just learn to accept it. I just wanted life to be the way it was before — routine, ‘normal.’
Will things ever be normal again? I thought.
And then one day — soon — they were. Except they weren’t like before. They were better.
Suddenly, the overwhelming facts and fears faded. Because instead of knowing a diagnosis, I grew to know her.”
Down syndrome occurs in approximately 1 out of every 700 births in the United States, and the abortion rates for babies diagnosed with Downs syndrome is alarmingly high – estimated at over 90%. So how did Down syndrome become a condition with a 90% pre-born mortality rate?
Some argue it is because of fear, myths and a lack of education. A Down syndrome prenatal education bill, HB 2111, is currently being considered in Pennsylvania. This bill would require doctors to provide information to families who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Resources like Lauren’s blog and others will help parents see past the numbers and instead see the potential of their beautiful children. This video answers a question from a nervous mom who wants to know “What kind of life will my child have?” The children in the video tell her: “Your child will be happy, and you’ll be happy, too.” After all, isn’t that what every parent wants?
Click here for the National Down Syndrome Society.
Click here for Downsyndromepregnancy.org.