Down syndrome - The Diagnosis
- Over 90% of people who learn that they are carrying a baby with a genetic abnormality such as Down syndrome, choose to terminate their pregnancy.
- There are families who specifically want babies who have Down syndrome, and the waiting lists are long.
- Some (not all) babies who have Down syndrome have developmental delays. Most are mild to moderate, and some (fewer) are severe.
- People who have Down syndrome (babies, children and adults) are NOT perpetually happy as is often thought or described by stereotypes. Everyone is unique and all have feelings; happy, sad or mad.
- Early Intervention (therapies designed to assist with development) are helpful and do allow and help children with Down syndrome to meet their milestones.
- Not all children who have Down syndrome have the same facial features or characteristics. Each looks and acts unique and while there are often similarities in features, children with Down syndrome look like their parents and siblings just as any other child would.
- The information out there today regarding Down syndrome tends to be negative, outdated and incorrect. Much newer and more positive information is now becoming available as more people see that children with Down syndrome are much more alike then different.
- Many doctors still do not know the newer information. Much of the text that was taught to doctors in the past, reflect the older outdated information. And many doctors today still assume you will terminate and often set up termination appointments which is probably why the statistic is so high.
- Many family doctors are not taught to counsel families who receive prenatal diagnoses or provide negative information which results in many families making the decision to terminate.
- Many adults with Down syndrome are living independent lives. They finish school and college, have jobs, get married and some have children of their own.
- 80% of all cases of Down syndrome happen to mothers under the age of 30 (reason explained below).
- Why? Why did this happen to me?
- What did I do wrong? / Did I cause this?
- This is a really bad situation....
- Will the baby live or have serious health problems?
- I am not good enough to be a parent to a child with a disability....
- Should I have an abortion/terminate my pregnancy?
- I don't know any thing about Down syndrome....
- Is my (will my) child be "retarded"?
- Will people treat me differently? / Will they treat my child differently?
- I have other "normal" children, why would I have one with Down syndrome? / This is my first baby, will I have more with problems?
- What do I do now, what happens next?
My life has changed forever hasn't it?
How do I care for this baby?
This will be a life time burden....
Can I afford a child like this?