I’ve been thinking a lot about the above documentary that was on yesterday evening. Got so many thoughts going round in my head that I thought I’d express them here.
Just to warn anybody who’s not seen it yet you might want to leave reading this until you have seen it as I don’t want to spoil it for you.
This documentary was made in light of the new easier test that’s out to test for Downs Syndrome.
Sally Phillips, who is famous for her role in the Bridget Jones film, among others, has a 12 year old son with Downs Syndrome.
In the documentary she goes to medical professionals to talk about this test.
I was horrified to hear one doctor talk about a person with Down’s syndrome as ‘being a burden that will go on for a long time’ (or words to that effect). Then the lady who I think played a part in inventing the test asking ‘your son will outlive you don’t you wonder what will happen to him in the future. Can I just point something out Mrs professional that there are a lot of parents who are concerned about what will happen to their children in the future and they don’t all have children with disabilities Some might have children who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Others are concerned for their children financial security. So sorry , wondering what the future holds for Sally’s son or my daughter come to that is not a good enough reason to abort them!
The scary thing is that the medical profession who are carrying out these tests and in some cases bully women, who have a positive test for DS, to have an abortion, is the same medical profession that we entrust our child’s health to.
I am pro-life, however I do not judge anyone for having an abortion, I know people don’t go into it lightly, and sometimes the counselling people receive is biased towards terminating pregnancies. Many aren’t told of the emotional effect or physical effect of abortion.
Sally interviewed a very brave lady called Kate. She was pregnant with her second child. She had her first child aborted as tests had shown she was at risk of having a baby with Downs Syndrome. She spoke about how they had to stop baby’s heart, it sounded horrific. Watching Kate re tell this, you realised she was clearly a mother grieving over a lost child as any mother who loses a child anytime after they had given birth. She explained that she had watched you tube videos of the worst case of DS and those who were enjoying life. Sally showed her another clip of a young lady with DS who was doing well at gymnastics . Kate commented on how inspirational she was, but was aware that she had to work harder to achieve her goal. I couldn’t help but think, even those of us without disabilities struggle at times. We might have struggled/ hated school. Stuck in a job we hate.That is life, it sucks sometimes, but my experience with my daughter and others I have met with Downs Syndrome is that they actively enjoy the challenge.
Is the world trying to get rid of people that are ‘imperfect’ or people who can challenge us, show us how to appreciate the simple things in life and encourage us to be kind to each other.
Both my children are adopted, our son is our eldest, he has profound and multiple learning disabilities including autism, mild cerebral palsy and badly controlled epilepsy. He is non verbal but has lovely ways of communicating. He is very loving. Despite all his problems he is very discerning about people, so be warned!!
I love his happy noises, I love his smile, I love watching him enjoy a rough sea, I love seeing him play with a windmill. Can you really get anymore perfect than that? He is now in a home for adults with learning disabilities where he continues to bring a lot of happiness to those around him. But still relates to us when we seem him every week.
Our daughter is our youngest. She has Downs Syndrome. She is 15 yrs old. She is doing well with her reading. She’s good at cooking (very useful)
I love watching her dancing, watching her have fun in the swimming pool, her sense of humour , her zest for life and sense of humour . Again what’s more perfect than that.
The UK has prided itself on being inclusive, but as this programme showed there are still some not so good attitudes around.
I have sat at medical appointments and in a and e with my daughter and seen people who arrive after my daughter be pulled round in front of her. I had to really persuade her eye consultant to refer her for an operation to unblock her tear duct, which was causing her some distress.
Sally made a good point last night that with all this money going into researching this test could be money spent on support for these people, in view of all the cutbacks happening for people with disabilities this is a good point don’t you think?
Please people treat everyone equally with respect.
I will close with a final thought. Those who know our children can you imagine a world without them ?