Dear Future Mom …

“I’m expecting a baby. I’ve discovered he has Down Syndrome,” an unnamed woman e-mailed. “I’m scared: What kind of life will my child have?”

Your son can have a happy life respond 15 young people with Down Syndrome.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. palisadesk says:

    Great little video. Indeed, the life prospects for children born with Down Syndrome today are very good, especially if they are in early intervention/stimulation programs. The health and medical issues frequently affecting Down’s kids — low muscle tone, congenital heart defects, vision and hearing impairment, weak immune system) are much more amenable to medical care and correction than in the past. Many have cognitive abilities in the borderline range with appropriate intervention, so that they are able to master basic literacy and math skills and have a variety of employment options.

    Temperamentally, DS children tend to be affectionate and have a happy outlook on life. I have heard very dedicated parents of severely autistic children opine that they would have preferred their child to be born with Downs rather than the severest forms of autism; caring for those children is exhausting and the parents are haunted by what will happen when they are too old to care for their child.

    About 2 years ago, when the “Billy Elliot: The Musical” was being staged in major cities, I went to see it and was amazed and delighted to see that one of the Ballet Girls was a teen or preteen with Downs. Her parents likely got her into dance early to develop muscle tone, and she was indistinguishable from her co-stars in the ballet troupe, performing elaborate dance and musical routines.

    Dear Future Mom, get your baby into an early stimulation program. It really helps. I had an included Downs student in third grade who functioned well with some accommodations.

    • Deirdre Mundy says:

      I’ve heard that word and excel have really improved life for kids w/ Downs– Word, b/c typing is easier than writing when you have muscle issues, and Excel because now you never have to do math!

      And better medical care has made many congenital problems less scary– Look at CF– it used to mean ‘your child won’t make Junior High’ — Now it means ‘you’ll probably live at least into your 40s, be able to have a career, marry, and raise a family.’

      It’s amazing to see how much things have improved in the last 35 years or so…