When I heard that our regional NPR station was running a story on Down syndrome my interest was peaked. The guest lineup was intriguing; a geneticist, the Director of the Center for Children with Special Needs at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, the parent of an infant with Down syndrome, and an adult with Down syndrome.
It’s rare to come across a story about Down syndrome in the mainstream media – especially one without an agenda. I highly recommend listening to this story if you want to: A) learn more about Down syndrome, B) know someone with Down syndrome or are C) just plain curious. The story does a great job of explaining the nuances of Down syndrome; how it occurs and its effects. It also explains prenatal testing – diagnostic vs. screening – and the impact of testing. They also discuss early intervention programs – how they have advanced in recent years and the great impact these services have had on the quality of life for people with Down syndrome. And rounding things out, the conversation includes a family perspective – what life is like raising a child with Down syndrome.