Life As Alice Blog

Down Syndrome

My opinion on The Daily Fail and Loose Women story.... I wish I'd aborted my Son with Down Syndrome

This post may come as a shock to some but be sure to read down until the end... I promise it isn't as bad as it seems.

I watched Loose Women, I read the original article in  the Daily Fail and I even kept up to date on the vast amount of comments it seems to have created, I found it all very sad.

I may be on my own here but I'm not that angry at her, in fact, I'm not angry at her at all. WE live in an era where information, support, medical knowledge and human rights are at the tips of our fingers. She had her child in an era that she would have been in the dark, they would have been left to deal with his needs themselves with little or no knowledge, they would effectively have been left to rot. The fact that she kept her child in the family, cared for him and has been around for all his life so far is a big deal in itself, as in those days people with Down Syndrome were put into homes with little or no contact with family. We need to remember this. We need to remember that although our children are now seen as rainbows in a grey world, back then they were not. The stigma, the social neglect, the struggle... deep down she will obviously have regret, in which she's expressed recently very publicly but the love of her child overcame all this. She has given her life to this child, not in the same way you or I do. She didn't have the ability, the resources or the support to have her own life too, making a life revolving around her child and nothing else, in which she will no doubt look back on and feel like she missed out and she will feel resentment for it, that I'm afraid, is natural. I am not saying that is right or wrong, I am saying WE ARE LUCKY, we are in a world where, even though we have not yet reached a place where equality is the norm, it is well on it's way. She was not that lucky. The fact she spoke out will no doubt actually help others of her generation who feel isolated by their feelings. It will also bring to light the differences between then and now, the progress that the now rainbows and butterflies represent.

We should not judge, we should only educate.

This lady is educating the masses in her own way. It might not be the positive coverage we look for in our community and it may have set us back a bit but whether you like it or not the feelings of this woman are reflected in many of all ages and all we can do is support them enough to change those feelings or comfort them enough to fix their thoughts. We should bombard the world with a positive response to this. Accept her opinion and support her with her son from now on. If the community in which we often speak of is as inclusive as we expect the rest of the world to be... This shouldn't be that hard.

She is a parent. She is so obviously struggling with her life. She needs support not tomatoes thrown at her from all angles.

As for the human rights of the man with Down Syndrome in the story, she has not taken them away, she has given him more than he would have had in a care home of that era, the same ones we hear so many horror stories about. She has enabled his life to be had, opportunities for him to achieve and learn, she has parented him to her best ability.

The human rights for abortion is a different story and one in which I know I have different feelings on than most. I have a different story to most parents with children with DS, Kyd's is a genetic form in which can hold MANY separate very severe disabilities, I was lucky he only had DS. I was also 16 and a single parent. There are many things I'd have done differently, many thoughts I had over the years in which now I would not. Even in 2002, we didn't have the information we have now. The internet wasn't as readily available for support, knowledge or understanding, I felt in the dark too. I wouldn't change Kyd for the world, he is what has made me, me, he is everything I could ask for in a son... however I would, like the lady in the story, take away his suffering with the things that come with Down Syndrome. What parent wouldn't want to take away the pain that they see their child in daily?! You are kidding yourself if you say that is wrong. That is what she is saying. She is not wrong, she just misjudged her wording, her audience and her initial publication.

I don't think she should have been on Loose Women, I think that ITV have thrown her into the lions den... But I hope this has given you a different slant on the story. A different view. An understanding that may be lost in the anger of the initial shock of the statement.

We should not Judge, We should only educate.