‘IT FEELS LIKE LOVE’S DREAM’ The heartwarming story of the couple who both have Down’s Syndrome

the couple who both have Down’s Syndrome, met at college and are now blissfully married

Newlywed Polly Gibson told BBC Radio 5 Live that her wedding to husband Joe Minogue felt like “love’s dream”.

Polly and Joe, who both have Down syndrome, have shared photos of their unicorn themed wedding day
Moving and romantic story of Polly and Joe who have Down’s Syndrome

The happy couple wed in a ceremony attended by 200 guests in 2016.

Their nuptials featured a unicorn throne and singing waiters – as well as a spectacular three-tiered sprinkle cake.

Polly added: “It feels like love’s dream. The best thing in the whole wide world.”

Newlywed Polly Gibson told BBC Radio 5 Live that her wedding to husband Joe Minogue was the “best thing in the whole wide world”

Polly and Joe met eight years ago when they were both young students at college in Sussex.

The loved-up duo said that their attraction was instant and last May they made things official by tying the knot.

Polly told Rocknroll Bride that she and Joe wanted their wedding to have a ‘festival’ vibe and with the help of family and friends they pulled of their dream wedding.

The pair had a beautiful festival themed wedding in May 2016

The pair had a beautiful festival themed wedding in May 2016

Tables were strewn with bunches of brightly coloured wild flowers, while bunting hung from the sides of the reception marquee at Brewerstreet Farmhouse in Surrey.

The venue was also filled with a plethora of pink and blue helium balloons and their waiters sang Ratpack tunes.

Polly added: “It would be wonderful if our story could touch the lives of others struggling to cope with any kind of disability or inequality.

“The greatest thing is to love and be loved in return.”



Little Girl with Down Syndrome Slays Dance Routine After Being Rejected by a Studio

Little Girl with Down Syndrome Slays Dance Routine After Being Rejected by a Studio

Ana Malaniuk is just the most recent in a string of heroes transforming the Down syndrome narrative.

After being jilted by one dance studio for failing to fulfill their “standards,” the 6-year-old continued to pursue her passion, joining a separate studio where she eventually dominated the routine below.

The video, posted by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, has had nearly 75,000 views. In it, Ana dances to Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” — clearly demonstrating she’s more than capable of busting a move.

Ana’s mother Sonja told Global News her daughter has transformed since joining Amanda’s Academy of Dance, a studio that welcomes children of all kinds:

“She’s met so many friends. Her confidence has grown hugely and she just loves it…to see her on the stage, to see her with the teachers, to see her happy… It’s amazing to see that people are willing to give her a chance.”

Little Girl with Down Syndrome Slays Dance Routine After Being Rejected by a Studio

As Sonja says, kids with Down syndrome are very capable of memorizing and dancing to the studio’s routines, “they just need a little more time” to get it down.

Just like the public needs a little more time to grasp that kids like Ana are just as capable as others.



The Incredible Story Of An MMA Fighter With Down Syndrome And His Battle For Acceptance


For most fighters, stepping inside the Octagon for their first ever fight is the biggest moment of their fledgling MMA career but for Garrett ‘G-Money’ Holeve, he had to fight like hell to even be given that opportunity in the first place.

You see, Holeve has down syndrome and after training for five years, in August of 2013, his home state of Florida issued a cease and desist order to prevent him from competing in a sanctioned MMA bout.

For many, a cease and desist order would signal the end of their dream but not Holeve; shortly after receiving the news, Garrett and his legal team at Disability Right Florida sued the ISKA and the WFO, two of the state of Florida’s authorised sanctioning organizations.

The legal battle ended in January 2014 after Holeve testified in Florida District court to gain his right to compete in MMA. In the aftermath of a verdict in his favour, Garrett was philosophical about how he became a figurehead for fighting for the rights of people with disabilities.

“I’m a fighter first of all,” he said. “That’s what I am. The only thing I want to be is a fighter. I think fighting injustice makes me stronger. More powerful.”

Garrett’s first opponent inside the Octagon was David Steffan, a fighter with cerebral palsy, who was also making his MMA debut. I’m not going to spoil this for anyone who hasn’t seen it already, but fu*k me, I wish the Mrs wasn’t cutting onions right next to me when I watched it!

Holeve’s father and (initially) reluctant trainer, Mitch, is clearly proud of the work that his son has done to pave the way for other adaptive athletes:

“Society is just getting acquainted with what people with Down’s syndrome can actually do. It’s Garrett’s generation that is really proving this. He’s definitely a pioneer as an adaptive athlete in Mixed Martial Arts.”

It’s condescending to call people like Holeve ‘inspirational’ but I’m not gonna lie, he has inspired the sh*t out of me!



My daughter’s Down syndrome has only made her big sister love her more

When Suzanne Loveland was told she was expecting a second baby girl, and she had Down syndrome, she was shocked and saddened. And much of that sadness was for her daughter, Emma, who would now always be a big sister to a sibling with special needs. Little did she know that baby Chloe would transform their family and turn Emma into the Best Big Sister Ever.


Today is World Down Syndrome Day and our family is celebrating this journey of love, acceptance and joy that we find ourselves on thanks to our little Chloe.

When I first found out about Chloe’s condition, one of my first reactions was sadness for Emma. I had certainly not planned on giving her a sister with Down syndrome and it worried me how this was going to impact her life. Some people around me also reacted in the same way saying things like, “How sad for Emma”.  “Poor Emma.” “Emma will suffer.”  Ouch.

Let me tell you how wrong all the people who said these things were.  Yes, having a sister with Down syndrome does have its challenges but I can seriously say, Emma is in no way suffering.  Her view of the world has been given a new and beautiful perspective.


Emma is extremely patient with Chloe and teaches her new things almost everyday.  She knows that Chloe has Down syndrome but that means nothing to her.  Chloe is her sister.  End of story.

The two of them have their moments. Chloe sometimes doesn’t want Emma anywhere near her and other times, they play very happily together. Emma is extremely patient and kind and adores her little sister to no end, even when she messes up or steals things from her bedroom.

Emma and Chloe have an understanding between each other. Chloe knows never to interfere while Emma is playing with the iPad.


And Emma knows that when she has ice cream or yoghurt, Chloe wants to share (even if she has finished her own already!)


I recently brought home a beautiful picture book from the library for Emma called My Sister, Alicia May by Nancy Tupper Ling. It was a cute story about a girl whose younger sister has Down syndrome. It described the highs and lows this little girl experienced having a sister with the condition. After reading the book to her one evening, I asked Emma what she thought about the story. And her response was, “Which one of the girls has Down syndrome?” Bless her heart.

Not all sisters are close but I know that Emma will always be there for Chloe no matter what. Having a sister like Chloe requires patience, tolerance and understanding and for a girl her age, Emma already puts to shame so many adults (including me) with her kindness, compassion and ability to love.

I’m pretty sure when Chloe looked down from heaven and chose to join our family, she didn’t choose us because of me or Andrew. She chose us because she wanted Emma to be her big sister.

I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned so far on our journey and I am thankful to be surrounded by all my family and friends. As challenging as it is sometimes, Down syndrome has been a blessing to our family. Challenges make us grow and through everything I have been through, I am happy with the person I have become.

These days, I think a lot more about what kind of person I want to be and how I can do things better. When I am happy, I truly feel and appreciate that happiness. I am reminded everyday that I can’t control everything (and I have just about made my peace with that!)  I am more aware of people and their unique differences and how they make our world rich, colourful and interesting.

I am inspired by the fear and sadness that still sometimes rears it’s ugly head. I let these feelings consume me and then I use them to refocus on all the joys and amazing things Chloe has achieved so far in her life. I then push these feelings aside and allow determination and delight to take hold. I love these times.

I have learned that there is so much more to a person than how they are different.

Happy World Down Syndrome Day to all the families who share this journey with us – especially all the amazing brothers and sisters of our wonderful children.  We can all learn so much from them.



13 Things Never to Say to the Mom of a Child With Down Syndrome



People can say some of the most hurtful things to one another. Think you’ve heard some truly awful stuff? Try being the parent of a child with Down syndrome.

Babies with Down syndrome are born with 47 chromosomes instead of 46, and the severity of their symptoms varies. But there are some pretty common physical signs that accompany Down syndrome, and that opens these kids — and their parents — up to everything from rude staring to downright cruel comments.

Sadly, some people don’t even realize they’re being offensive!

The Stir asked the parents of some children with Down syndrome to share some of the ridiculous comments they hear most often about their beautiful babies. If you’ve ever said anything on the list, consider this your notice not to say it again!

1. Oh, he looks so normal — Normal as opposed to what?

2. I’m so sorry — “What the hell are they sorry for?” asks Jennifer Lister, mom of little Riley, who refers to her daughter’s condition as “Up syndrome.” “For not being blessed themselves with a child who has UP syndrome?”

3. What’s wrong with her face? — Nothing! She was born that way!

4. She doesn’t even look Downs — Kids with DS aren’t carbon copies of one another!

5. They don’t live very long, do they? — Actually, medicine and science have come a long way. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Although many children have physical and mental limitations, they can live independent and productive lives well into adulthood.”

6. I hate being told my daughter can grow up to be a Wal-Mart greeter.

7. What is going to happen to her when you die?

8. I hate hearing people telling me what they think he will and won’t be able to do in the future when he isn’t even a year old yet!

9. I find the Down syndrome stereotype ridiculous, that DS people are kind, loving, and gentle. Not my daughter. She is strong willed, defiant, and kind of a brat. Oh, and her teachers have called her manipulative from a very early age. Although I love her just the same!

10. I had someone ask me if I was going to have my son fixed so he wouldn’t have kids.

11. When my child was in Newborn Care, another mother told me I was really lucky because Down syndrome babies are so placid. I am lucky, but not for that reason!

12. Did you consider abortion?

13. One doctor asked us if we wanted our daughter to have plastic surgery on her face.


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5 Things Down Syndrome Parents Need to Hear

The day I was told that my unborn son had Down syndrome was the day my entire world changed. In some ways, it was shattered. Everything I thought I knew about what I could expect from my life, my ideas about the kind of mother I was and could be, the hopes and dreams I had for my children…with one phone call, they were all erased. I was a mess, crying on the phone to my mom and my best friend, trying to understand why this had happened, or how, and what I was supposed to do now.

Image result for down syndrome viral articles on twitter

I found out about Wyatt’s extra chromosome when I was about 15 weeks pregnant. I never considered aborting my son. And knowing before he was born gave me the blessing of time: time to accept his diagnosis, to prepare myself for it, and to learn everything I needed to know.

I look back on those weeks after receiving that earth-shattering phone call and feel such a mix of different emotions. I didn’t know then that while my world may have been shattered, it was rebuilt again to be so much bigger, and stronger, and better. It’s as if, before knowing about Wyatt, my world was small and narrow and closed. Now, it’s bright and open and endless, and I wish I could go back and tell myself what it was going to be like.

With the rise of more and more advanced prenatal testing, fears about abortion rates of babies with Down syndrome rising have become louder and louder. Everyone seems to want to blame the testing, when the reality is that it is our attitudes that need to change. Whether a mother finds out prenatally or at birth, the diagnosis is overwhelmingly given as a negative, with worst-case scenarios, grim views of what to expect of her child’s life, and outdated, stereotypical medical information. Medical advances for people with Down syndrome have made their life expectancy rates soar, and the opportunities they have are almost endless.

But parents aren’t told that. They’re given the doom-and-gloom, and we wonder why so many are afraid that their lives will be ruined if they keep their baby. Many women who receive a prenatal diagnosis are given immense pressure to have an abortion. If we want to know whom or what to blame for the high abortion rate of babies with Down syndrome, all we need to do is look in the mirror (and this is especially true for many of the doctors out there).

A new parent of a baby with Down syndrome is going to be scared, confused, worried, and grieving. The last thing he or she needs is to have someone falsely reinforcing those fears and worries. So whether you’re a doctor or someone whose friend just received a diagnosis, these are the things that this new parent needs to hear.

1. You will be happy again.

I know right now this seems like the end of the world. And there will be challenges along the way (just like with any child). But the good news is, almost all families who have a member with Down syndrome report being happier and more positive than they were without him or her. People with Down syndrome themselves are overwhelmingly happy with themselves, their lives, and how they look. It doesn’t feel like it, but you will be happy again.

2. They’re still just babies.

I was so scared and confused when I found out that Wyatt had Down syndrome. I had never even met someone with Down syndrome – how the heck was I supposed to raise a baby with it? But the good news is that having a baby with Down syndrome is nearly identical to having a baby without it. Having a baby with Down syndrome means that you’ll have lots of sleepless nights, crying, poopy diapers, and maybe the occasional spit-up. You’ll also have snuggles, cute little gummy smiles, and that great feeling when they hold your hand. Down syndrome doesn’t mean you’ve somehow given birth to a three-headed space alien which needs some kind of insane level of care. He’s still just a baby. Feed him, love him, and snuggle him. That’s all you have to do. And that’s not that difficult, is it?

3. You can still do regular things.

Not long after I had given birth to Wyatt, I remember seeing somewhere a woman saying she could never have a baby with Down syndrome, because she wanted to be able to do things like go to the beach, and take her kids to Disney World. Huh? I don’t know what misconceptions of Down syndrome would lead someone to think they’ll suddenly be house-ridden, but you can still do regular things with your family. You can go to the beach, or to theme parks, or anything else you decide you want to do. We take Wyatt everywhere — to the aquarium, out to eat, to the beach. Babies with Down syndrome are just babies, and when they become kids, they’re still just kids. They’ll love seeing Mickey Mouse at Disney World as much as any other kid will, and they’ll love making a mess at the beach, too. You won’t suddenly become limited because your kid has an extra chromosome.

4. There will be virtually no limits to what they can accomplish.

When you picture an adult with Down syndrome, it’s easy to imagine someone working in a grocery store, living with his parents forever, and never having any kind of meaningful life. But people with Down syndrome today can do almost anything. There’s a man named Tim Harris in New Mexico who has Down syndrome – he graduated from college and now owns his own restaurant. A teenager with Down syndrome was recently inducted into his high school’s National Honor Society. Karen Gaffney is an adult with Down syndrome, and a swimmer who has swum the English Channel, across Lake Tahoe, the Boston Harbor, and the San Francisco Bay. She also completed the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. Another teenager with Down syndrome has climbed Mount Everest. There are also children with Down syndrome being featured as models (for companies like Target and Care.com), and adults who are actors (the most notable example being Lauren Potter, who stars on Glee). It may seem hopeless, but there will be no limits to what your child with Down syndrome can accomplish.

5. They will be loved.

It may seem obvious, because of course you’re going to love him – he’s your baby, after all. But what may surprise you is how many other people will love him, too. And he will change so many people’s lives. Wyatt is loved by just about everyone who meets him – probably because he is the biggest people person I’ve ever met, and has a big smile for anyone who smiles at him. Your child will be changing perceptions every day, winning over people’s hearts, and finding love everywhere he goes. Of course you’ll love him, because he’s your child. But he’s going to be loved by everyone else he meets, too.



Why my daughter’s birthday shames those who think people with Down syndrome are not fit to live

Yesterday my younger daughter celebrated her 19th birthday with characteristic exuberance.

Yet immediately after she was born, on June 1, 1995, we had all manner of gloomy medical assessments of the shape she’d be in by now.

Domenica emerged into the world with Down’s syndrome, a surprise to the doctors as well as to her parents; and we were given the bleakest forecasts of what the consequences might be of her possession of an extra copy of the 21st chromosome.

Celebration: Domenica with her parents, Rosa and Dominic

Celebration: Domenica with her parents, Rosa and Dominic

She might never be able to talk or even walk. Her health would be a daily worry.

Twenty years or so ago, this might have been the standard prognosis given by doctors, but it was already hopelessly out of date – the one serious medical condition affecting about half of Down’s babies, a hole in the heart, has long been routinely corrected by early surgery.

And although Domenica’s speech can be hard to understand, one reason for that is that she talks incredibly quickly with a vast, if occasionally inappropriate, vocabulary.

I had no idea what to expect when she was born; but because I was concerned that people would not know whether to commiserate or congratulate, I wrote an article saying that it should be the latter — and how happy I was that her much-loved elder sister had a sibling.

On the whole, the reaction of readers was positive, but a small number said something to the effect of ‘She may be a beautiful and loveable baby now, but just wait until you see what a teenager with Down’s is like’.

Domenica Lawson presents a posy to Queen Elizabeth at the opening of a fountain built in memory of Princess Diana in London's Hyde Park in July 2004

Domenica Lawson presents a posy to Queen Elizabeth at the opening of a fountain built in memory of Princess Diana in London’s Hyde Park in July 2004

Well, she is still beautiful and loveable; and while almost all parents say that about their own children in normal circumstances, I have never yet come across a parent of someone with Down’s who has a bad relationship with them.

I suspect that the authors of those few critical replies were not themselves parents of Down’s children.

One of them was the late Claire Rayner, who in an article of response rebuked us for not having pre-natal tests for Down’s and declared ‘society’ would have to bear the burden of the ‘misery’ of Domenica’s life: in other words, this former nurse thought it would be better if all such people were detected in utero and aborted.

Rosa at the opening of the Diana Memorial Playgrond and Memorial Walk in Kensington Gardens

Rosa at the opening of the Diana Memorial Playgrond and Memorial Walk in Kensington Gardens

Incredibly, Rayner was at the time a patron of the Down’s Syndrome Association. Even more incredibly, she was outraged when the association immediately told her that her affiliation with them was the only thing being terminated.

But perhaps Rayner had just been expressing explicitly an attitude within the medical profession which normally remains implicit.

A few years ago, the BBC News website ran a selection of comments on this general issue and one, from a woman giving her name as Heather, from Livingston, is worth reproducing: ‘I was told that my daughter had Down’s when I was pregnant, and every doctor and gynaecologist I saw tried to convince me a termination was the best option. I was still offered this at 26 weeks!

‘One reason given to me by a consultant was that “these babies put a strain on the NHS” .’

In a way, the medical profession’s attitude is understandable. The invasive detection method, a form of foetal blood extraction known as amniocentesis, involves a risk of miscarriage of 1 per cent.

Given the very large numbers of ‘false positives’ in the initial scanning process, this means the lives of lots of babies with no disability are lost as an accidental by-product.

According to the official register, for every 100 instances of Down’s syndrome detected, about 400 ‘normal’ pregnancies miscarry as a result of the amniocentesis.

No wonder medics put pressure on a pregnant woman to abort when a Down’s baby is detected: if she does not, then their system is made to look even more crazy and wasteful.

Last year, however, a team from King’s College London announced it had made significant progress in developing a reliable non-invasive test for Down’s syndrome in utero.

This was enthusiastically hailed by one newspaper as potentially leading to the ‘eradication of Down’s syndrome’.

Forgive me for not joining in the cheering.

And besides, what is being eradicated? Not the condition, but only the people with it. The condition will occur with exactly the same frequency as before: the only difference is that the alleged sufferers will never see the light of day.

We are always told that the reason for all this is that people ‘suffer’ from Down’s syndrome.

'She is still beautiful and loveable; and while almost all parents say that about their own children in normal circumstances, I have never yet come across a parent of someone with Down¿s who has a bad relationship with them'

‘She is still beautiful and loveable; and while almost all parents say that about their own children in normal circumstances, I have never yet come across a parent of someone with Down¿s who has a bad relationship with them’

Really? Has anyone in this country ever conducted a survey of those who actually have the condition? In the U.S., they have. In 2011, the American Journal of Medical Genetics published a paper – ‘Self- perceptions from people with Down’s syndrome’ – based on a survey of 300 people with the condition aged 12 and over.

The authors concluded: ‘Nearly 99 per cent of people with DS indicated they were happy with their lives, 97 per cent liked who they are and 96 per cent liked how they look.’

On that basis, it could be said that far from ‘suffering’ as a result of having Down’s, such people are more content with themselves and their lives than the general population.

I have been thinking more about this phenomenon, having just read the autobiography — What The **** Is Normal? — of the stand-up comedian Francesca Martinez, 35. She is someone with cerebral palsy (or as she refers to it, ‘wobbly’).

She writes: “I have several mates with “severe” CP (I prefer “uber- wobbly”) who fall over regularly or take an age to get a sentence out. But they tend to be happier than pretty much everyone else I’ve met.’

‘In 2011, the American Journal of Medical Genetics published a paper based on a survey of 300 people with the condition aged 12 and over.

‘The authors concluded: “Nearly 99 per cent of people with DS indicated they were happy with their lives, 97 per cent liked who they are and 96 per cent liked how they look”.’

As she observes, unhappiness with one’s appearance is if anything more common among the able-bodied with no objective reason to complain.

Martinez says she is ‘pro-choice . . . I believe in the right of parents to choose what is best for them’.

But she gave a robust retort to a medic who had told her that as an adviser to parents with babies-to-be diagnosed with disabilities she thought it was best to try ‘to reduce the suffering in the world’: ‘Suffering is part of life. If you don’t want your child to suffer, then don’t have any in the first place.’

Then, in a direct appeal to her readers, she declares: ‘Most parents-to-be still fear their beloved newborn will turn out to be – oh, the horror – disabled.

‘My personal fear is that the child will turn out to be unhappy. I don’t care what he can or can’t do, how they talk or walk or how many fingers and toes they have. Because I don’t think that is a good indicator of happiness.

‘Forget aborting babies because of the suffering they might endure . . . Had my wobbliness been detected in the womb, my parents would probably have been advised, by a softly-spoken but firm doctor, to have an abortion.

‘To spare me (and them) a life of suffering. The concern is touching, but I think I’d rather take a punt on living.’

A charming indicator of Domenica’s fundamental joy in just being alive was when on her previous birthday, while cutting the cake, she refused to make a wish because ‘I have everything I want, now.’

Actually, she might not have been telling the whole truth. I think she hankered after having a boyfriend, possibly because she had seen how happy her elder sister is with such an adornment to her life.

So I am pleased to say that Domenica now does have a ‘boyfriend’, a delightful 19-year-old with a shock of red hair called Daniel. He too has Down’s syndrome.

He is also playing the title role of Barnaby Rudge in the current BBC Radio 4 classic serial of that novel by Charles Dickens.

Dickens had a special feel for those we call disabled, and Barnaby Rudge was one of those characters. It is imaginative of the BBC to cast a young man with Down’s to play someone with disabilities.

It is also a shattering rebuke to those who think people with Down’s syndrome are not fit to live in the first place.



A mother’s beautiful status about Down syndrome

“Words do matter …” See why this mother’s Facebook status about her daughter, born with Down syndrome, has gone viral.

Carolina Boudet is mother to a baby girl born with Down syndrome – sweet Louise. The normally private mother from France recently shared a status with an image of her beautiful baby and some words that soon caught the attention of the masses.

For Carolina, life with Louise is full of love, so she can’t help but notice the awkward and sometimes rude way that people react to her and her daughter. People, it seemed, were having difficulty understanding what is and isn’t appropriate to ask parents of children with Down syndrome.

In a bid to educate and enlighten, Carolina shared some thought provoking words that have now gone viral and are resonating and being embraced by people around the world.

“I know that if one does not experience it, one does not think about it but words do matter,” she writes. “They can comfort and they can hurt. So just give it a thought …”


Here’s Carolina’s full and beautiful message, translated from its original French:

Here is my baby girl, Louise. She is four months old, has two legs two arms and one extra chromosome. Please, when you meet a Louise, do not ask her mother, “How come you did not find out during the pregnancy?” Either they did, and the parents took the decision to keep the baby. Or they didn’t, and it was surprising enough for them, to talk about it over and over now. Keep in your mind that mothers have a tendency to feel guilty about each and every thing, so a surprising extra chromosome .. I let you guess.

Don’t tell her mother, “It’s your baby no matter what.” No. It’s my baby, period. Plus: “nomatterwhat” is quite an ugly name, I’d rather call her Louise.

Don’t tell her mother, “As she is a Downs baby, she will … etc.” No. She is a four-months-old baby who happens to have Down syndrome. It’s not what she IS, it’s what she HAS. You wouldn’t say “she’s a cancer baby”.

Don’t say, “They’re like this, they’re like that.” “They” all have their features, their character, their own tastes, their life. “They” are as different between them as you are from you neighbour.

I know that if one does not experience it, one does not think about it but words do matter. They can comfort and they can hurt. So just give it a thought, especially if you’re a doctor or nurse of any kind.

I usually do not make my status “public” on Facebook, but this one will be. You can read it and share it as you want. Because each year there are [in France] 500 new “mothers of Louise” that can have a day ruined by those kind of words. I know it’s not meant to hurt. But you just need to know.



At the time of publication, the status had more than 15,00 likes and nearly 29,000 shares since it was originally posted on Monday. The support has motivated Carolina to create Lousie’s own Facebook page, where you can find the articles that have been published all over the world, inspired by her simple, yet powerful Facebook post.

The pursuit of perfect babies

Australian blogger, Leticia Keighley from Embracing Wade, wrote an article for Kidspot after the story of Baby Gammy began making headlines the world over, in which she addressed the pursuit of perfect babies:

“We don’t need better babies, we need better adults. Adults that put aside prejudices and stereotypes and look at the facts before deciding whether to keep their baby. Adults that ask themselves how they can make the world better for children rather how they can make better children for their world. Adults that can see that Down syndrome is not an illness or a death sentence and that any child can face challenges despite the number of chromosomes they have. Adults that understand there is so much to be gained from embracing difference.

“I tucked Wade into bed tonight, I kissed him on the forehead and I thought about the countless ways he made me happy today.  The way his whole body lit up when Dad brought home a giant play castle for him and he dove inside to play.  The way he climbed up onto his reading chair and “read” me a story with all the fervour and gesticulations but no actual words!  The way he had the entire restaurant in the palm of his hands as he does every week when we go out for lunch.  The way he presses his ear against my head when I sing to him so that he can feel the vibrations and the way he plays the drums like a man possessed and I promised that I would keep telling anyone who will listen of his value and his place in the world in the hope that one day I won’t need to anymore.”



Surprising 5 things to know about Down syndrome

Each year, people around the world celebrate Down syndrome and advocate for awareness on March 21, World Down Syndrome Day. While we have made incredible gains towards acceptance of people with Down syndrome, there is still a very long way to go. The vast majority of babies who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are still aborted. Adults with Down syndrome are still discriminated against, and treated as less valuable than people with the typical number of chromosomes. Politicians and pundits openly call for the forced abortion and euthanization of people with Down syndrome. Ignorance still abounds about Down syndrome, and the only way to combat ignorance is with information.

Image result for down syndrome

Here are five things to know about Down syndrome for World Down Syndrome Day…

1. It’s not rare.

The idea persists that Down syndrome is not common. This may be because for people who are adults now, people with Down syndrome weren’t seen much. 50 years ago, people with Down syndrome were often institutionalized; 20 years ago, they weren’t institutionalized, but were placed in separate classrooms and rarely, if ever, interacted with peers without special needs. So it’s hard to get a real idea of how common Down syndrome actually is. It’s one of the most commonly occurring birth defects, and the most common chromosomal abnormality. 1 in every 700 babies will have Down syndrome; there are currently around 400,000 people with Down syndrome living in the United States alone.

2. People with Down syndrome are not all the same.

It’s easy to lump people with Down syndrome into one category, but it’s wrong to do so. Down syndrome typically does lead to various developmental delays, but people with Down syndrome have varying abilities, intellects, and personalities… just like everyone else in the world. People with Down syndrome also do not all look the same. There are some physical features associated with Down syndrome, but not everyone with Down syndrome will have them. People with Down syndrome will resemble their family members more than they will another person with Down syndrome.


3. Medical advances have greatly improved life for people with Down syndrome.

One of the most commonly named reasons people choose to abort their preborn children with Down syndrome is fear that their quality of life will be poor. They associate Down syndrome with a myriad of medical problems and crippling intellectual disability. But the reality is that there has never been a better time for people with Down syndrome than right now. Yes, people with Down syndrome are at higher risk for various medical issues, like heart defects, cancer, and thyroid disorders, to name a few. However, medical advances have drastically changed how these issues are treated. In just 20 years, the life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has skyrocketed from 25 in 1983 to 60 now. As for developmental delays, children with Down syndrome now receive early intervention services starting at a very young age, giving them the best chance they’ve ever had at reaching their full potential. It’s not that people with Down syndrome have not been able to be successful before, but they’re now being given tools to help them overcome their developmental delays that weren’t available before.

4. People with Down syndrome lead fulfilling lives.

Remember the quality of life argument? There’s this image the public has of people with Down syndrome as people who will never work, never have meaningful lives, never move out of their parents’ homes or accomplish anything. But this could not be less true. People with Down syndrome work, live on their own, have friends, and get married. They go to school and graduate from college. They are able to have relationships with friends and significant others. Studies have shown that the vast majority of people with Down syndrome are happy with themselves and their lives. They are not suffering and need to be taken out of their misery.

5. They are just as valuable as anyone else.

It doesn’t matter what someone’s cognitive abilities are, how long his life is, or how prestigious her job is. Every person has inherent value and dignity, and that includes people with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome have complex feelings like everyone else. They participate in their communities; they love and laugh and cry. They have family, friends, and spouses. People with Down syndrome, like all human beings, are worthwhile and their lives have meaning… and deserve to be protected, whether they are born or preborn.



‘Down syndrome is the best thing that ever happened to me

A Nova Scotia man wants to send a message to the world: His son has Down syndrome and it’s a beautiful thing.

Robb Scott posted a Facebook video message Feb. 20, shortly after observing an interaction between a man and his son.

Saying he needs to “karmically reset” what just happened, Scott recounts watching a boy ask his father about Down syndrome.


“He asked his dad, ‘What is Down syndrome?’”

Scott says the father paused, searching for an answer for his son.Image result for down syndrome  best ever post

“I don’t think his dad was trying to be mean…and he said it was an illness, and that it was an illness of not knowing anything.”

At that moment, Scott says he didn’t know how to act or react, and isn’t the type to confront others. He felt compelled to tell the father and son what Down syndrome is, “but I didn’t” he says, appearing perplexed by his own lack of reaction.

“I let that ignorance grow in another generation.”

At that moment, he says, he failed his son.

“Down syndrome is literally one of the most beautiful things that’s ever happened to my life. It’s fun, it’s brilliant, it’s amazing, it’s funny, it’s kind, it’s loving, it’s cuddly,” Scott says.

“They’re great teachers, people with Down syndrome. it’s not an illness. It’s not an illness. It’s not even a disability.”

Disabilities are perception, he says, something he has learned from his son Turner. And we’re all here to both teach and learn.

“A well-educated man doesn’t not have more to teach, than my son. He has different things to teach.”

“Down syndrome is the best thing that ever happened to me. But I didn’t say that. I didn’t step up for my son and for other people with Down syndrome. And that was devastating to me in that moment.”

While Scott might not have spoken up at that moment, his message has been heard: So far the video has been shared more than 9,000 times and garnered more than 6,600 likes.