By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
A new book highlighting the positives of having a child with Down syndrome has just been launched and features the testimonies of families across the UK.
The book, Wouldn’t Change A Thing, hopes to dispel the fear that can consume new parents when they receive a Down syndrome diagnosis. It focuses on the positives of Down syndrome rather than stereotypical negatives. Wouldn’t Change A Thing, is filled with feature photo stories of young people with Down syndrome, from babies to young adults.
The book was launched this October at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Glasgow to mark Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Each mum who has a baby with Down’s syndrome will receive a copy of the book. The book is priced at £6 [$7.67] and profits from the book will go towards providing a family with their free copy.
“We strongly encourage our supporters to consider purchasing this book or even purchasing it as a Christmas gift for loved ones,” SPUC Deputy Chief Executive, John Deighan said. “Doing so will help reduce the stigma associated with Down syndrome and provide vital support for families.”
The book is the product of parent-led organisation, Wouldn’t Change A Thing, which was established following the success of the carpool karaoke style video that went viral, featuring children with Down syndrome and their mums.
Jamie, one of the dads featured in the book, has said that he hopes Wouldn’t Change A Thing will help overcome negative attitudes towards Down syndrome.
“New parents are given a bunch of leaflets, thrust into their hands, with bullet points outlining the medical statistics, which are generally negative.” he said. “If that’s the information you receive, then your picture of the future is going to be bleak.
“There was nothing to represent the reality and this book seeks to plug that gap, so at the same time as new parents get the leaflets they will also get this book, which will hopefully make them think actually things are alright.
“We wouldn’t change a thing about our kids but we would change society’s attitudes to people with Down’s syndrome and their understanding.”
Mum of three, Lynn, describes how she was met with a great deal of negativity when receiving her son’s Down syndrome diagnosis.
“I was told everything that David was not going to do,” Lynn said. “I was told that David wasn’t going to be able to stand until he was four, or walk until he was five, but David was running around when he was two years old. He is just amazing how he is. We have our challenges, but don’t all parents? The most important thing is not to be afraid. There is always support out there. I wouldn’t change a hair on David’s head
“I just want people to know that there is absolutely nothing to be scared of. People with Down’s are a part of the population who deserve to be celebrated and that is what the book is doing.
“It’s just about the negative perception of Down’s syndrome and the whole thing about terminations. There are countries that are trying to eradicate Down’s. On the UK mainland you can get a termination up until you go into labour if you have a positive diagnosis of Down’s – that is frightening.”
“Eradicating” Down Syndrome Babies
Using an ultrasound, blood test, and the mother’s age, a prenatal combination test is carried out which can determine if a child is likely to have a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome.
Prenatal testing is commonly used to eradicate babies with Down syndrome and other chromosomal conditions. In Iceland, almost 100% of babies with Down syndrome are aborted. Each year, on average only two babies with Down syndrome are allowed to be born in Iceland.
Currently, in the UK, a vast majority of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted. The UK’s 1967 Abortion Act also permits abortion until birth, if the unborn baby is suspected to possess to foetal anomaly such as Down syndrome.