Sunday, October 14, 2012

{DS Tidbit}

31 for 21 blog challenge day 14
  • Down syndrome is one of the leading clinical causes of cognitive delay in the world – it is not related to race, nationality, religion or socio-economic status.
  • The incidence of Down syndrome in the United States is estimated to be 1 in every 700 live births.

  • Of all children born in this country annually, approximately 5,000 will have Down syndrome.

  • There are approximately 1/4 million families in the United States affected by Down syndrome.

  • 80-95% of pregnancies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are terminated (a meta-analysis concludes that 92% worldwide are terminated).
This last statistic blows me away.  It makes me sad.  Having a child with Down syndrome (or special needs for that matter) is not the end of the world.  If people weren't so selfish or prideful, had confidence or faith, weren't ignorant but were willing to learn, love, and expand their horizons, they would see that having a child with Down syndrome opens up a whole new world that they would have not have otherwise been capable of understanding.  It brings out emotions that you didn't even know you had.  It makes you appreciate and love life more fully.  It makes you understand that people with Down syndrome (and any child with special needs) are just people too.  Their handicap can be your greatest blessing.  Although it may be inconvenient, and it sucks that your kid isn't like your perfect neighbor's kid, and it may be hard and sad; the advantages that you will have over others (your neighbor with the perfect kid) with your ability to see people for who they are, your increased empathy, the thick skin you will grow due to other people's insensitivity, and an appreciation for the hard things that parents do and go through will be invaluable and will give you a leg up and will propel you forward one more step on the game board of life.  No, it's not easy; but it is worth it.


Alicia said...

That is so beautifully written. You are such a good writer, you should write for a magazine, seriously. I think the hardest part of having a loved one with disabilities isn't necessarily the loved one themselves (although this is a generalization and every situation is so unique) but sometimes other people's insensitivity and cluelessness about the whole situation. Sometimes when I tell folks about my brother their eyes just glaze over. Or they offer the stupidest advice that 1) we've been there, done that, tried that or 2) doesn't apply, which the person would know if he/she had even ever met my brother. Or they say things to me I can't even repeat because they are so ignorant and insensitive. This was especially true when I was dating. If things ever got serious, I would tell my boyfriend about my brother. I kid you not, I dumped two guys just based on their reaction to the news of my brother. (Another blessing in disguise as a sister of one with special needs). I am certain that their negative reaction was a red flag that would translate into other areas of married life.

khepworth said...

Alicia, I totally agree with you 100%. Having a kid with a disability isn't the hard part, dealing with the insensitivity of others, I would say is harder. Finn is still just a baby and cute, and I know as he gets older, I will be dealing with this issue alot more...

Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia said...

I deleted my previous comment because yet again, it was way too long. Lol! What I meant to say is that you will know what to do. You are the momma and you know best for Finn. Finn is going to have some good friends and a fortress of people surrounding him to keep the bad folks out. And you'll be the boss of who stays in the fortress and who goes. Tell anyone outside of the fortress to jump in the lake! Lol. You'll find out who your real friends are and you'll be happier for it. I don't mean to say it will all be roses, because it won't. But I promise it is worth it. It is totally and completely worth it.


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