HomeChild CareI have question in regards to Down Syndrome?
Posted in Child Care on 24th April 2011

I have question in regards to Down Syndrome?
Just about the main reason people tell me that they would choose to abort a Down Syndrome pregnancy is because they say that the child will need to be “taken care of” for the rest of their lives.

They say that the siblings would be “burdened” with “taking care” of the child, once the parents die.

And that the child would eventually end up livng a “sad life” in a “mental facility.”

SO

My question is:

Is there a better alternative to this picture? Is THIS really how all people with Down Syndrome are going to end up????

eg. The Arc Communities started by Jean Vanier?

Or Community Living arrangements?

Best answer(s):

Answer by penjewel31
I would say that people’s perception of those with developmental disabilities, and Down Syndrome in particular, are becoming more positive. The older generation still sees families that have a child with a disability is a burden, but they are reflecting on how things were 20-30 years ago. There are so many opportunities in place now that are alternatives from the typical things such as ARC, sheltered workshops, group homes, and I think that it’s only going to get better. Our society is much more accepting of disabilities because of the way they are portrayed to us out in the real world. Individuals with disabilities are treated as a whole person now, and the general public is slowly catching on. I am very optomistic that things are looking up!

Answer by a_gondos_gotta_do
A lot of people with downs syndrome don’t out live their parents, the average life expectancy is actually around 50 years. Depending on how involved the family is to begin with during the early years of the child’s life there is a lot of stuff that can be done early on to improve the skills of Down’s children later. There are tons of services available to the family, many of them are free, provided because the child has special needs. These services can be obtained through grant based agencies like healthy families and first steps. Some can live on their own with an assistant who comes to check in, with a paid roommate, or in a group home setting not in a mental facility or an institution. Group homes, paid roommates, and assistants, have minimal invasive qualities for the person. There are also other options. There are job training programs and job coaches available to shadow them at work. There are Vocational Rehabilitation programs and Day programs they can attend if they can not work in the public sector where they have a job like making trash bags, light bulbs, crafts and the like, or they attend classes and have friends. They have active social lives, boyfriends/girlfriends, play cards, make jokes, attend partyies and dances, etc…Lots of time the Down’s child is greatly loved by the siblings and the child is invited into the home of the siblings. Down’s children are very friendly, inquisitive, gentle, loving, caring, and misunderstood. They are only a burden by those who want to see them as a burden and not as a blessing.

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