Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Down syndrome doesn’t suck.

I don’t prefer to give most people who berate and belittle people with Down syndrome any consideration.  But I just need you to understand something very important today.

Down syndrome doesn’t suck.

I’ve watched a lot of really, really crappy things happen to great people recently.  Pain beyond my ability to comprehend surges through the hearts of new parents kissing their babies goodbye too soon.  Families devastated by poverty, war, hate.  There are absolutely horrific events happening all over my community… all over the world.

And apparently, the birth of my baby girl is one of them. 

Recently, Richard Dawkins, a famous geneticist and author (among other things… a**hole being one of them) told a mother expecting a baby with Down syndrome that it would be immoral to continue with her pregnancy, given that she knew about the condition.  He said that people should try to “reduce suffering” when they can and that bringing a child like Tessa into the world isn’t right because she will suffer and won’t contribute to society.

But, Mr. Dawkins, what you have failed to realize, is that  in her eight months of life, she has already contributed to society.  Probably in a better way than you ever could. 

Tessa’s smiles light up the faces of family and friends who have long been searching for something to smile about.  Some of her loved ones glow in a way they never have before when they see her.  The very feat of her existence, beating obstacle after obstacle, has inspired people to do more, try harder, go farther.  She has changed the way teachers do their jobs, influencing the education and experiences of an incomprehensible number of children.  She has helped people forge relationships that haven’t been strong before.  She has been in the world for 247 days and she has made an impact.

Tell me that our world doesn’t need more positivity?  More love?

I know a lot of people with 46 chromosomes who suffer or who don’t contribute to society.  In fact, they sometimes make our world worse.  You made it worse.  You perpetuated an outdated, unjust stereotype.  You devalued the worth of my child.  You scared a mom who doesn’t need to be scared.

People who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome deserve accurate information about their child’s future.  If you can’t give accurate information, please don’t give any.  Next time, send them to the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network.

Rant over.  Special Needs Mom Law #3:  Let it go. 


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She is so loved.