More Babies Born With Down Syndrome These Days

The number of babies born with Down Syndrome is up considerably as expectant parents learn that children afflicted with the disorder are leading better lives now days.

Aisling McVeigh reports from London.

Chris is a typical toddler, happy, noisy, and a huge part of family life. The two year old was born with the genetic condition, Down's Syndrome. Her parents, Simon and Jen, were shocked and fearful about her diagnosis from the start but now they don't see her as anything other than normal.

"I think the message is filtering into the public domain that the life expectancy, the health and the life that people with down's syndrome enjoy is a very positive life and a very normal life."

New research backs that up. More parents are now willing to raise a child with the condition than they used to be.

The number of parents choosing to terminate babies with Down syndrome is falling; that happened much more when diagnostic screening was introduced in the late 1980s. 749 children were born with the condition in 2006, that's up considerably from 594 at the start of the decade.

Parents today can now see that people with Down's Syndrome are more normal than expected and their quality of life has improved. New diagnostic techniques are now in development but Simon and Jen say parents who make the choice to have children with Down's Syndrome will never regret it.

Of course, any parent could use some support, especially raising a child with special needs And that's not hard to find. Just go online and search for Down's Syndrome Support Foundations.


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