I have had had the opportunity to be involved with a few families in the celebration of their new baby with Down Syndrome. I was reflecting on the differences from 40 years ago until now. I realized that we have made a lot of progress.
In the early 70’s your baby was whisked away from you and kept isolated. This was to “protect” you from bonding in case you didn’t want to take the baby home, especially if you were young. Now it is treated like any other birth which is so much better. Barring complications you can hold your baby immediately.
40 years ago when you were given the diagnosis of Down Syndrome it was given in hushed tones and with a very somber attitude. Choices were presented and even encouraged that would never be presented today.
Nowadays people will support the family with gifts and meals and prayers and visits. Back in the 70’s it was a lonely time when you had a baby with a disability, the general reaction was pity. People didn’t know what to say so they avoided you.
And, of course, there are websites for information and encouragement that are so beneficial and inspiring. Not much information available at all 40 years ago.
It is so wonderful to see how far we’ve come in the past half a century! But we’re not there yet. The services for adults still need improvement. Jobs and Job Training are high on the priority list at Dutton Farm. We want to give these new babies a future full of opportunity and independence. Join us in this mission!