Mum asks: Why are 92% of children with Down’s syndrome aborted? (VIDEO)
21 March 2016
Caroline White with her 8-year-old son Seb
The mother of an 8-year-old boy with Down's syndrome has made a video (below) highlighting the lethal discrimination children with Down's syndrome face in the womb.
Caroline White, from Bath, decided to produce the video for World Down's Syndrome Day to try and change people's perceptions of what it’s like to have a child with Down’s syndrome.
She focuses on the vast number of children with Down’s syndrome targeted by pre-natal screening and abortion – 92% of all unborn babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted.
The video also clearly shows how happy her son Seb is, as he is seen laughing and playing with his siblings.
Caroline highlights a survey carried out by geneticist Brian Skotko of more than 3,000 families nationwide, which found that:
- 99% of people with Down's syndrome are happy with their lives
- 97% of people with Down's syndrome like who they are
- 99% of parents say they truly love their child with Down's syndrome
- 97% of brothers/sisters say they love their sibling with Down's syndrome
Yet, as Caroline points out, almost EVERY baby diagnosed with Down's syndrome in pregnancy is terminated (92%).
Seb also made headlines in 2015, when his mother sent an open letter thanking a TK Maxx staff member for calming her son down during a tantrum and taking care of him.
That letter is worth republishing in full here as an inspiring example of someone with the right attitude towards a small boy with Down’s Syndrome:
"I popped into your Trowbridge store today with my 7 year old son who is off school following an operation last week. He has Down's syndrome and associated learning difficulties.
"At the time we visited the store it was approaching lunch time and, having spent the morning at an animal park, he was getting tired and hungry. In protest he decided to sit at the top of the stairs and refused to move. I told him I was going to go without him (obviously I wasn't!) and slowly went down the stairs and hid just out of view where I could just see the top of his hair through the glass staircase. It had little / no effect and Seb continued to sit there. A few minutes later a young man came over to Seb and really gently sat next to him on the step and said something along the lines of "are you ok buddy?" and Seb said yes. He then asked Seb if he knew where his mummy was and Seb just shrugged.
"The young man, who I later found out was called Ash, then asked Seb if he thought his mummy was upstairs or downstairs – at this point I walked into view and spoke up that I was his mum, trying (and failing) to get him to come downstairs. Ash then said to Seb "come on, lets go and see your mum", at which point Seb got up with a big smile on his face and happily trotted down the stairs alongside his new friend. It was only at this point I realised the young man worked at TK Maxx (and later served us, making more delightful conversation again with Seb).
Seb as an adorable baby
"I cannot express how much this young man's actions meant to me. To see him speak to Seb so kindly and concerned, getting down to his level by sitting down next to him and then motivating him to move off the stairs at a time when I was starting to feel the stress rise up inside me. It was done with genuine concern too as he was unaware at first that I was watching.
"Shopping is often stressful, Seb has little sense of danger (he once was lost at Longleat for 45 minutes and 10 minutes in M&S when he took a solo trip on the escalator) and has to be watched constantly, he lives in the "here and now" with no thought to consequence and can disappear in a flash, especially when rails of clothing hide his every move. I am sometimes at the point of tears if I cannot get him to cooperate (even after toy bribes as was the case today) or feel people are watching us (particularly when I try and carry a heavy, protesting 7 year old out to the car!). He is so fast that even tapping in my PIN is stressful in case he wanders off. It really did make a huge difference to me.
"So often we read on social media about people's experience of discrimination towards the behaviour of children with special needs - in cinemas or theatres or restaurants and I have experienced first hand a very rude shopping assistant in a well known shoe shop who reduced me to tears with the way she spoke to me and Seb when we were buying his first pair of shoes. Ash, whose operator number was 4772, showed such great understanding and empathy, dealt with the situation perfectly and above all really made my visit to your store a lot less stressful than it could have been.
"I would be grateful if you would pass on my sincerest thanks.
"Kind regards, Caroline."