This week we heard that the NHS is considering whether to offer pregnant women a new screening test for Down syndrome. The BBC News report on the issue included an interview with a young mother and her 9-year-old son Sam. Sam’s presence in the studio and the impact that he clearly had upon the presenter Nicholas Owen was the perfect way to remind us that Down syndrome relates to a person not just an extra chromosome.
The BBC’s positive presentation was an echo of several other recent news items about people with Down syndrome. From Australia, there was a report (see below) of a lawyer and business consultant who gave considerable insight into her experiences so far as the mother of a nine-month old baby. Back in the UK, a young shop assistant called Ash taught many others a simple lesson:
Show empathy not fear towards those with Down syndrome and you will both come up trumps.
Now, nine months since Xavier was born, Lisa’s mindset has turned from one of worry and shock to one of appreciation and happiness after she learned the truth about having a baby with Down syndrome. Before Xavier was born Lisa, a trained lawyer and business consultant, admits she had a ‘very limited and basically either incorrect or outdated’ understanding of the condition. ‘I was still working on 1980s information… I thought they could only live into their 20s and don’t ever move out of home. I’d done no research and didn’t know anyone who has Down syndrome,’ she explained. After having Xavier, Lisa said she would ‘have another child with Down syndrome’ without thinking twice. ‘I am perfectly happy with that. There wouldn’t be any regrets with that,’ she added.