Yesterday, my sister forwarded an article to me about finding from recent studies that were conducted regarding Down syndrome. After reading the article, I responded to my sister by saying that I wish the pediatrician that told us about Brennan's diagnosis would have been able to tell us the finding from this report instead of the doom and gloom he presented to us. The studies found that "the vast majority of parents said they have a more positive outlook on life because of their child with Down syndrome. And, nearly 90 percent of siblings indicated that they feel like they are better people because of their brother or sister with the developmental disability." Additionally, "nearly all of the survey respondents with Down syndrome said they were happy with their lives, themselves and their appearance. Only 4 percent said they felt sad about their life." And I would say, from my experience so far, that this is truly the case. When I've attended the National Down Syndrome Congress conventions, the thousands of attendees are not getting together to boo-hoo about their lives, but rather to celebrate.
The studies are being printed in the American Journal of Medical Genetics. My hope is that geneticists, pediatricians and obstetricians will include the findings from these studies to parents who are just learning that their child has Down syndrome, offering a real-life and not just medical view of the diagnosis.