Contributing author to Gifts : Chapter 8

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Gifts : Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

The Gifts Outreach program provides complimentary copies of Gifts to organizations which serve parents facing a new diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child, either prenatally or postnatally. We believe that the stories in the book provide a vital companionship and support for such parents.

2008 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA): Gold Award

2008 Mom's Choice Awards: Silver Recipient, Special & Exceptional Needs

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Friday, May 11, 2007's here

republished by Woodbine, just in time for therecent New York Times article by Amy Harmon, covering the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists new screening procedure for Down syndrome and a few of the GIFTS contributor's views on this recommendation....

I was contacted as a Pro-choice contributor to GIFTS by Amy Harmon and we had a little interview over the phone on Thursday. There will be a follow up article in the NYT on Sunday on the ACOG recommendations and pro-choice views. I don't know if I will end up in the article or not. But I do know Ms. Harmon is trying to make this a pro-life vs pro choice issue. I simply told her I didn't see the ACOG recs as a pro choice or pro life issue- I see this as an education issue. Educate those that get a diagnosis of Ds with the right information; don't scare them. Give them real people who have been there, done that. Not a pat on the back, and an "I'm sorry". Give them examples of real life situations, where we live everyday with our children and adults with Down syndrome and we are not suffering, we thrive and actually have fun, enjoy life, and THEY are living proof that choosing termination is not the best option for THEM.

And personally, the 90% termination rate for those that receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is very misleading. There are many, like us, that did not choose to have prenatal testing. We CHOSE not to have an amnio. Our CHOICE was to have Nash. A child. We ended up with Nash, our child, who happens to have Ds. I am thankful everyday I didn't have an amnio. We made our choice. To have a child. And we hit the jackpot.


mum2brady said...

You most definitely DID hit the jack pot! Nash is definitely a gift! I'm sad we won't be meeting up this summer - but it will happen someday!!!

Can't wait to read the article....

Shelley said...

Bravo for taking the risk - of talking to Amy - I guess the pro life vs prochoice makes for easier reading in the tabloids. It seems to be a lot more topical and divisive in the US than here. All we can do is say - hey the choice is yours - but REAL choice is based on both sides of the story ... (and 'you are CRAZY if you say no to beauties like Nash and my Hannah'- not that we are biased - we have the benefit of experience to share!)Looking forward to Gifts.

Kris said...

Wonderful Jan, just wonderful!

Also love the Nash man's handwriting, simply BEAUTIFUL!