Clippings

As long as I can remember my dad has always collected news clippings.  He rips out and saves articles out of newspapers – national and local – and various magazines.  He forwards online editorials and e-mails websites and articles that might be of interest.  Often when we visit my parent’s house there are a couple of piles on the kitchen counter – one with articles for me, one for a brother, and one for Alex.  Some may call this a quirky habit.  Others might consider it to be too time consuming.

I on the other hand appreciate this simple gesture.  Each article is a small reminder that my dad was thinking of me and wanted to share information that would be interesting/relevant/helpful/informative to me.  It not only gives us something to share and discuss, it’s a simple way for us to stay connected.  The subjects have changed to reflect what stage I’m at in life.  They have transitioned from business articles related to marketing and public relations {my former career path}, to studies on children {how they learn best, etc.}, politics and now most frequently articles covering the subject of Down syndrome.  Not necessarily subjects that would have interested my dad directly, but because they were important topics for his daughter, he too was interested.

You see, if you want to gather information on a subject then my dad is your guy.  {I’m quite possibly a smaller clone.}  When Charlie was born the very next morning at 8:00 a.m. my dad was on the phone with me sharing all of the information he had learned about Down syndrome online.  He had also made numerous phone calls to other families that had a child with Down syndrome to glean as much relevant information as possible.  While I was totally overwhelmed at the time {with both the diagnosis and the amount of information} I knew that this was one of my dad’s ways of showing his love.  He cared for his hurting daughter.  And since we have similar personalities, he also knew that information was a source of comfort and that being left in the dark was scary.

It occurred to me that there are many others who could also benefit from my dad’s clippings – specifically those that are Down syndrome related.  Many are stories of encouragement.  Others are like a punch to the gut – reflecting the harsh reality of the world our children will grow up in.  Some relay the latest in research.  I’ve decided to share a few as they come across my desk {top}.  I guess it’s just my way of saying that I’m so thankful that we are all in this together.  That I get it.  That maybe each of you who read this blog – no matter your connection to Down syndrome – will have a better understanding of our unexpected journey.

And that I’m thinking of you.

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Sarah Palin and Me. The Joy of a Child with Down Syndrome.

Wall Street Journal Opinion piece by Lon Jacobs

“Sarah Palin and I have little in common politically. I disagree with her on foreign policy, economic policy and Roe v. Wade—I am a pro-choice Democrat.

But one thing Mrs. Palin and I share is that we’re both parents of beautiful children who happen to have intellectual disabilities. And much as I disagree with Mrs. Palin on various political issues, I was struck when she talked about the cruel attacks on her son Trig in a TV interview last week.

What separates me from many other pro-choicers I encounter is that I strongly believe we need to make abortion rare. In too many quarters we have moved from a society that protects the right to abortion to one that promotes it. This is especially true with regard to those with disabilities…

…An obstetrician told me excitedly about a new blood test that will allow pregnant women to discover if the child they are carrying has Down syndrome. The good news, he told me, is that we will no longer have to worry about “unfortunate births…

This doctor intended no offense. But his comment reflects a prevailing attitude that presumes we would all be better off if these children are eliminated before they are born…

…I don’t presume to tell others what to do when they are faced with these difficult decisions. But I worry that women who find themselves pregnant with a child who has a physical or mental disability get only one message, which is all about the burden about to be dumped in their laps. Today, nine out of 10 American women who are told they have a child with Down syndrome choose to abort. I think it’s fair to say that if some of these potential parents had a glimpse of the other side they might have made a different decision…

…The American people are complicated. I know pro-lifers who have aborted when they found out their baby had Down syndrome. I know of a couple who are suing their doctor because amnio tests did not disclose that they would be having a baby with Down syndrome. And I know a woman who is strongly pro-choice but chose to keep her Down syndrome baby and couldn’t be happier with her decision. I also know couples who choose to adopt children with Down syndrome and consider themselves blessed…

…In my mind, President Bill Clinton had it about right when he called for abortion to be safe, legal and rare. If that is to be more than just a convenient political spin, we who support a woman’s right to choose should do our part to celebrate the life side of choice…”

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The Child King

A Christmas film

“The Child King” is the story of two brothers who embark on a memorable quest to find Santa Claus at the North Pole.  It has been lauded by many individuals, publications and organizations including Exceptional Parent Magazine, The Special Olympics and Best Buddies International.

All producer’s profits from the sale of the film support the Child King Foundation, a non-profit entity that grants funds to those who advocate for the intellectually disabled.  This month the foundation is awarding thousands of dollars in grant money thanks, in large measure, to generous word-of-mouth within the Down syndrome community.”

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Down syndrome doesn’t stop eagle scouts

Denver Post – Neighbors blog

“Lucas Wondra has achieved something only about 4 % of those who enter scouting achieve. He has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

His achievement is particularly significant because the 16-year-old Hutchinson (Kansas) High School student has the genetic disorder Down Syndrome. Lucas is one of many who are demonstrating that individuals with Down Syndrome can be productive members of society.”

…I wonder how many of those who think Down Syndrome individuals cannot do anything had the drive to become Eagle Scouts….

…Potential parents who are concerned that a child with Down Syndrome might require more of their time should reconsider the decision to become parents. Down Syndrome isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a child.  A child could be afflicted with a fatal form of cancer or Muscular Dystrophy. A child might be severely injured in an accident or abducted.  A child might require greater effort from parents because of hyperactivity or autism. A “normal” child may decide to get involved with drugs or gangs…

These and many other problems that can occur with children can adversely affect families, but the problem isn’t with the children. Major illness of the death of a child from any cause potentially can destroy a family if parents start playing a blame game. The problem in these situations is with parents who cannot accept adversity…”

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{I will try to be timely about these clippings, but will most likely collect and post a few each month.}

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3 thoughts on “Clippings

  1. My dad does this, also. He used to run a factory that employed about 150 people. He would clip articles when an employee’s kids were in the sports page, or if there was a new baby in their family, or anything like that. The neat thing is that it didn’t cost him anything to do but it was a way of letting them know that he valued them as people, not just employees. I always like to read what he’s found!

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