Six Myths about Downs Syndrome

When we first learned that Harry has downs I thought about all the things I thought I knew about it. Turns out I was wrong about quite a lot! Here are some things that people always think about when they hear downs syndrome.

  1. Someone who has downs is always happy – What a load of tosh! People who have downs syndrome are no happier then people who don’t! I can promise that Harry has had as many temper tantrums and hissy fits in his 16 months as other babies in our family’s. People with downs syndrome are just that. People! They aren’t some kind of rare species who only have one emotion. So why do people think that? I honestly have no idea to be honest.
  2. People with downs cant have jobs or live independently – Ha! This is just... Wow. And I’ve lost count of the amount of times people have said that about Harry to me. It really gets me frustrated. People with downs may need a little help, some may even need a lot of help but lets not put them all in one group yeah?
  3.  Children with downs syndrome are born to older parents – When I had Harry I was 23. When I refused the blood testing at 12 weeks I was told it doesn’t matter as I wasn’t at risk anyway. WELL... yeah. You can have a child with downs syndrome at any age. I didn’t want the test because it didn’t matter to us. If it matters to you take the test.
  4.  People with downs syndrome don’t live as long as people without – This used to be true. Not because people have downs, because there was no support. Fifty years ago if a child was born with downs syndrome they were put straight into a home or asylum and refused medical help for any issues. This isn’t the case anymore and people with downs syndrome can live as long as anyone else.
  5. People with downs syndrome are overweight – Again a load of toffee! Some people with downs syndrome may appear slightly overweight but this is caused by the low muscle tone which can be a symptom of downs syndrome.
  6. People with Downs syndrome cannot have children – This one upsets me. Some one with downs syndrome is perfectly capable of having children. Harry however is more then likely infertile due to his Klinefelters, not his downs.
These six points I feel at incredibly important to remember about someone with downs syndrome but the most important thing to remember of course is that they are not defined by their diagnosis just like someone with cancer isn’t ‘that guy with cancer ben’ Harry isn’t ‘that boy who has downs syndrome Harry’ He’s just ‘Harry’ He’s not downs. And he isn’t the amazing little person he is because he has downs. He’s just Harry. Just like I am Kat and you are you. So the next time you meet a person who just happens to have downs syndrome, take the time to get to know them and don’t judge by their diagnosis.

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