Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Down Syndrome Is on the Decline

New prenatal blood tests can inform pregnant women as early as 10 weeks that their fetus may have Down syndrome.

A little over a year ago, Abbie and Rick Smith had a baby they named Noah. They are still smarting from their obstetrician’s words after his birth. “She said, ‘I’m sorry,’” says Rick. “Everyone at the hospital treated us like it was a funeral.” Noah had Down syndrome, and neither his parents nor his doctor had been aware of his diagnosis before he was born.

Noah’s father had never known anyone with Down syndrome, but he was determined to show the world that Noah was a regular kid and not someone to be pitied or feared. Nor is he the stereotypical “sweet angel” that kids with Down syndrome are often made out to be; he gets pretty testy when he wants his bottle. On NoahsDad.com, Smith uploads a daily one-minute video of Noah doing his thing — going to the mall, going to physical therapy — and has garnered his son a pretty impressive following for a 1-year-old: Noah’s Facebook page has got nearly 13,000 fans. Says Smith: “There’s no ‘sorry’ in this house. The only thing in this house is celebration.”



Read more of Bonnie Rochman's Time article HERE.
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