A world without Down’s Syndrome? No thanks!

This post is in relation to the recent documentary of the above title that was shown on the BBC last week. 

Is it really 2016? Do I really live in a country that sees difference as less? Apparently so…

Instead of seeing those with Down’s Syndrome as a burden, I wish the world could see the many positives and benefits. It is important to bear in mind that the physical health problems that can affect those with Down’s Syndrome can also be present in anyone of us. 

The information given to expectant mothers in this country does not help them make truly informed decisions. It appears that it is all doom and gloom if you have a child with Down’s Syndrome. How can any medical professional categorically say that a newborn baby with Down’s Syndrome will not meet particular milestones? We are living in a society that sees people in terms of how much they will cost, not their strengths or what they can offer their communities. 

I have worked with the most amazing teenager with Down’s Syndrome for a little over a year. It is not an exaggeration that she has helped me as much as I have helped her. 

September 2015 saw me at a low; I was under the crisis team and rarely leaving the house. My anxiety and depression had complete control of me. I started working with Faith mid September. She was like a ray of sunshine. She gave me a reason to leave the house. Faith genuinely misses me when I am unable to work with her. She cares about me so much and this was very much needed at my lowest. 

In the space of a year, Faith has developed her own self help skills. She can now fasten buttons, organise her belongings for school and tidy up after herself. Faith is an active member of her local guides group. She has friends there. When we first started going, Faith would be practically glued to me. Now, she will go over and sit with her friends and initiate conversations. She is so much more confident. Faith completed the summer reading challenge in her local library. She has gone up an entire level in her reading! Faith’s sense of humour has come on leaps and bounds. Her emotional understanding is always improving. She apologises when she is in the wrong and can explain why she is sorry. Faith is lovely with animals. She loves nothing more than walking round the park with Walter and Bella. Faith wants to learn new skills and to be as independent as possible. She just needs more help to show her how. 

I am fully aware that a child with Down’s Syndrome brings its own challenges. Faith can be incredible stubborn, easily distracted, bossy and can choose to do things how and when she wants. Not everyone feels they are able to have a child with Down’s Syndrome which is completely understandable. 

This post isn’t intended to shame those who feel unable to have a child with Down’s Syndrome. I am all for pro choice. But bear in mind that a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome is not necessarily a bad one. Working with a child with Down’s Syndrome has made me more patient, empathetic, caring, tolerant and understanding. I get to laugh, smile and enjoy life in so many ways thanks to Down’s Syndrome. 

I dread to think what my life would be like without the wonder that is Down’s Syndrome. 

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16 thoughts on “A world without Down’s Syndrome? No thanks!

  1. Amazing post. My cousin has downs and is the most loving person I know. He has the brightest smile that could make anyone feel better instantly. People who look down on Down syndrome, I always respond with “I hope you’re never lucky enough to have a child with downs.” And I’m being 100% honest, if you’re someone who has made fun of someone with Down syndrome, you don’t deserve the love and joy they can bring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m scared for the future, if that’s the ‘first’ thing they are actively trying to get rid of who’s next? Science has come on loads, who’s to say aftertgey hace wipwd out everyone with Down’s syndrome they won’t move onto something like autism? ADHD? The list is endless. You may have a child with Downs that goes on to speak join in and work, then you may have a child all is normal until a few months old and you find a poorly heart. That’s fixed and the child is a happy healthy 18 month old and regresses, stops everything then you have autism. You then have a child who won’t talk leave the house and just screams? This isn’t a who’s life matters more time! Any child is hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for writing this lovely post. It’s so good to hear positive views of people with Down’s Syndrome from someone who isn’t a parent or relative. Sounds like you and Faith have a great relationship. I wonder … I know your blog is a very personal thing, but could I share this post? It’s so valuable to have a positive opinion from someone who can be seen to be unbiased. I won’t share anything without your permission, though. Thanks. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post. Neurodiversity is so crucial to our survival! People with Down’s Syndrome or any type of special needs enrich our lives so much. They demonstrate a way of feeling, thinking and acting that challenges the “status quo.” If we get too stuck in the “neurotypical,” our world quickly becomes one where efficiency is the priority and we forget about the importance of nurturing and love. It makes me happy to think about you and Faith 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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