Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Days 3, 4, 5: Why Do I Advocate, Down Syndrome Occurrence, and Life Expectancy

Day 3 - Why am I an advocate for those with Down syndrome?

On Monday, I didn't have a chance to write a post on my blog but I did write a Facebook post related to this video from BBC Two. I was going to wait to answer the harder questions but the video came across my Facebook page and I felt compelled to write about it.

This video is why I advocate for individuals with Down syndrome. Places like Iceland already have a 100% termination rate for individuals with Down syndrome. Other countries in Europe are on track for the same.

For what? Why? What is really so bad about Down syndrome? Sure, getting a prenatal diagnosis about how your child will be "different" (aren't we all?) might be scary but these are people! They may not grow up to be a doctor or a lawyer but EVERYONE has a role to fill in society. I'm never going to be a doctor or lawyer, should my life be terminated? Where do we draw the line? How do we determine whose life has value?

Before you decide to terminate your child's life because he or she MAY have Down syndrome, I challenge you to meet someone with the disorder and learn what their life is really like. I promise, it really isn't as scary as some medical professionals make it out to be.

There are special challenges in raising a child with Down syndrome, I will not deny that, but there are always going to be challenges in life, regardless of what you do. Along with the challenges, Octavia brings me immense joy She always knows how to make me smile.

Day 4 - How frequently does Down syndrome occur?

Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the US is born with Down syndrome, which equates to about 6,000 births per year. There are currently about 400,000 people with Down syndrome living in the United States.

Day 5 - What is the life expectancy for a person with Down syndrome?

In 1960, the life expectancy for a person with Down syndrome was 10 years. In 1983, it was 25 years. Today, it's 60 years. 60 years. It's amazing what modern technology has done not only for people with Down syndrome but people as a whole!

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