Scottish Daily Mail
Charming, caring ... I’m so proud of my boys
I agree with the comments of parents of young people with Down’s syndrome regarding the proposed non-invasive prenatal testing (Mail). I’ve often wondered why there is so much focus on Down’s Syndrome: is it because tests for some other disabilities are either too uncertain or have yet to be developed? Is this where we’re heading as a society, towards a world in which being different is perceived as a burden on society and means you have a life not worth living that must be eradicated? Why not count the cost to society of people in prison, the obese, the alcoholics and smokers? Many such people make active choices about their behaviour without a single thought about the cost to society and often leave misery in their wake. My husband and I have two sons, Luke and Jacob, with Down’s syndrome. The elder works part-time for Waitrose and our other son is very keen to find employment. employers could make such a difference if they were more willing to give people with a disability the opportunity to work, but this is frequently not the case. It really is no big deal to have a child with Down’s syndrome. For sure, it means you have to put in the work to ensure your son or daughter reaches their full potential. You will have worries about how you’ll cope and what the future holds. That’s to be expected. But to parents who are given the news that their expected child will have Down’s, I say this: see your child first, not the condition. Focus on the needs of the baby as you would any baby and the love will come naturally — and love you will receive in return. While life might not be what you expected, it will still go on, and you will find that you have the capacity to cope and enjoy a family life together. We should know; we’ve enjoyed that life for more than 29 years and have two wonderful, charming and caring young men of whom any parent would be proud. CHRISTINA STRINGFELLOW, Preston, Lancs.