thread, a few facts for you.
- no discussion herein about abortion, morality, or costs. The goal of this post is help our dear readers shed some ignorance.
, to satisfy the language pedant in me:
In the United States, it's Down syndrome (capital D, lowercase s, no possessive).
In the United Kingdom, it's Down's syndrome.
, to satisfy the Political Correctroid in me:
Please use People First Language
when talking about a person or persons with Down syndrome, I and other parents of children with Down syndrome find it inconsiderate at best.
, to satisfy the scholar in me (in no particular order):
The longer life expectancy in people with Down syndrome is not recent - John Langdon Down demonstrated it by actually caring for his patients. In the US, up until the 1970's (give or take) doctors coerced parents into institutionalizing their babies with Down syndrome, inducing short, lonely, unproductive lives.
Are couples more or less likely to stay together?
Depends who you ask. Some studies say higher divorce rate (D.A.D.S. quotes 90%), some lower
How do any other existing children react? I mean, isn't it hard to give the other children the attention they deserve?
Depends on the family. I've heard Brian Skotko
quote a study that shows that families with a child with Down syndrome are happier in general than other similar families.
That said, I can't imagine being pregnant and being forced to carry it to term.
Many parents are being coerced to abort by doctors - similarly to how parents were coerced to institutionalize post birth. It's similar to being forced to carry to term - just more insidious.
Many people with handicaps will need someone to care for them for life.
Literally true, but it doesn't apply here. With proper early care, most
people with Down syndrome will be productive and nearly or completely self-sufficient. This type of program is called Early Intervention is has been shown to be cost effective
. More on Early Intervention
I believe all those with Down Syndrome would choose to have never existed over the diminished, dependent life they live, had they capacity to comprehend it.
This is laughably ignorant, and probably a troll.
Trisomy 21 is not a hereditary disorder, it's a mutation caused by maternal age.
False. Trisomy 21 is a genetic disorder that does not have a known cause, but is correlated with maternal age. Statistically most fetuses with Trisomy 21 are to the young (Brian Skotko)
what are the social benefits of having folks with Down syndrome around?
In school-age children, it has been shown
that a full-inclusion program is beneficial to students with and without disabilities
, to satisfy the curiosity in you -
I am plinth
. I am the father of a daughter with Down syndrome. Apparently I post frequently
about it and was intending post in two weeks, as October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, but the content of the thread in the blue demonstrated a need for a little more awareness.
I won't whitewash my experience - it has been one of the most challenging and frustrating undertakings of my life. People who know me well reassured me that there are few, if any, people better suited to raising a child with a Down syndrome than Mrs. Plinth and I, but that doesn't make the process any less difficult. Still, we have learned a ton about what may come along with Down syndrome and what to do about, learned another language
and in turn educated our those around us.
We didn't know ahead of time, and no, I won't answer the obvious what-if question.
In the first month of my daughter's life (3/4 of which were spent in the NICU), my best friend from college sent me an email wherein he said that he believes that the gene for fundamental human kindness is on the 21st chromosome and that those with T21 get an extra helping. I hold this close to my heart because even though a positive stereotype is still a stereotype, I find it true with my daughter, and am thrilled to see how it unfolds in her relationship with her younger brother.
, if you have specific questions pertaining to my experiences that outside of the zeroth point, please ask and I will endeavor to answer.