Here’s a great short video of Stuart Campbell from Scotland, who at 16
was thrilled to be best man at his brother’s wedding.
I’ve seen a lot of wedding speeches when photographing weddings, and this would have to rank up there with the best of them! I love that Scottish accent, too.
July 5th, 2006
The latest Farrelly Brothers comedy movie, The Ringer, opened here in Australia last night.
The basic plot outline is that the main character’s only option to erase a really bad debt is to rig the Special Olympics by posing as a contestant. Straight away you can imagine all the major movie-makers running away from that script!
We won’t be able to get out to see the movie for a while yet, but as soon as our babysitters are back from their holiday we definitely will!
April 28th, 2006
Check out this great video clip, telling a vignette about a young man with Down syndrome just trying to fit in: Garth Brooks – Standing Outside The Fire.
OK, it’s not a new video, but I hadn’t seen it before and it’s kinda cool.
April 27th, 2006
This page is a collection of books that didn’t really fit in with the New Parents, Kids or Medical/Developmental pages.
Adult novels that involve characters with Down syndrome:
December 3rd, 2003
Here are some good educational books that specifically cater to the needs of kids with Down syndrome. They are illustrated with photos of children with DS:
This series of books from Woodbine House have been written by specialists in each field, and are fantastic for parents that want to take an active role in their child’s development.
More medical and developmental books:
December 3rd, 2003
The “Day With Russ” series is very popular, and really shows how kids with Down syndrome really are just like other kids. These are great books for kids with DS, or to buy for a classroom that has a class member with DS. The fact that Russ has Down syndrome is not central to the plot; he’s just another kid having adventures:
Similar to the Russ books, this one features a day in the life of Misty, a little girl with Down syndrome. Again, the DS is not central to the story:
There are several childrens’ books involve characters with Down syndrome and other disabilities, and teach tolerance and inclusion of peers who are different:
Some books for older children and young teenagers:
December 3rd, 2003
When you first hear the news that your baby may have Down syndrome, all sorts of thoughts rush through your head. It’s a difficult experience, and it takes time to come to understand what it will mean for you and your family.
It’s not all bad news, though. The outlook for people with Down syndrome is better today than it has ever been in the past. They have good access to medical care and education, as well as special therapies and living skills programmes.
Below I’ve suggested some books that new parents of a child with Down syndrome will find helpful. If you have a friend who has just been told their child has DS, an appropriate book from this list might make a thoughtful gift.
Books about looking after a child with Down syndrome:
Books that describe the experiences of families that have members with Down syndrome:
Informational books about bringing up a child with a disability:
Inspirational and moving books for parents of a disabled child:
It can be hard to explain to siblings and other young children within your family and circle of friends that your new baby has Down syndrome, and what that means. These books can help:
December 3rd, 2003
Warning: this article is intended to make a serious point in an interesting way. It is not meant to offend anyone, except possibly doctors.
I’m very sorry, I have the results of the genetic tests and they have confirmed our suspicions that your foetus is what we call… Normal. Some people prefer the terms “Ordinarily Challenged” or “Normal Syndrome”. The syndrome can be easily identified by a complete lack of any interesting genetic characteristics. I know this will come as a shock to you, but you should be aware of what this is likely to mean.
If your foetus manages to survive the rest of the pregnancy and the birth, which is becoming more common these days, he or she will face some daunting challenges. Children who suffer from normalcy are prone to health and psychological problems. It is almost certain that the growing child will suffer a seemingly endless stream of viruses. They will frequently damage themselves, and sometimes others, from their excessive energy.
Their relentless demands will put a strain on your existing family and, of course, your relationship with your partner will suffer, and possibly end in a painful and acrimonious separation. Any children you already have, even if they also suffer from normalcy, will be jealous of the newcomer and all their extra attention. Many siblings are liable to be psychologically scarred by the new arrival.
I need hardly mention the financial consequences, although disastrous, they will be nothing compared to the emotional turmoil your life will suffer.
After a while, you may be lucky and find they can be kind and loving young children. They may find some temporary happiness in things such as music, dancing, food or playing with toys.
But if they survive early childhood, a Normal child is almost certain to grow into a Normal adolescent. Your years of sacrifice will be thrown back in your face as they become disobedient, wild and reckless. Unable to find happiness and contentment, they will treat you with contempt until they manage to leave home. Even then the suffering will continue as they will often return to try and extract money. They will blame you for their own faults and leave you bitter and twisted.
They may well become criminals, over a quarter of Normals will have trouble with the law, many will spend time in jail. Many will have problems with alcohol or drug abuse. Normal marriages are often unhappy and short and over half end in divorce.
Even if they become successful this is likely to be because of the often observed tendency of Normals towards excessive greed. The chances of them sharing their success with you are remote and they will tend to see you as an embarrasment.
Finally, Normal people are likely to die before their time. 23% will die of cancer, 33% of heart disease. Hundreds every year in this country alone are so distressed by their condition that they take their own life. I’m sorry to say that many will have had a lonely, painful and pointless existence.
I am afraid that Normal Syndrome is a genetic condition that affects every cell of the body, and so is impossible to cure.
Termination is an option.
Shall I book an appointment?
…from a parent who received a diagnosis rather like this.
I’d like to give big thank-you to Bob Lincoln for allowing me to post this masterful piece on my site. Bob originally posted it to a bioethics mailing list, and somebody who saw it there cross-posted it to a Down syndrome list that I’m subscribed to.
February 7th, 2003
We had Megan’s 18-week ultrasound this afternoon. The result was a completely Normal Diagnosis.
Also, there was an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald recently about Down syndrome in art: Nativity scene paints different picture of Down syndrome.
February 4th, 2003
This page will mainly be of value to Australian residents, but people in other countries may also get some ideas for finding out about local disability benefits.
- Theme parks (e.g. Wet’n’Wild, Movie World, etc) often offer a discount for a disabled child and their carer. As an example, general adult admission to Wet’n’Wild is $35.00 and the child rate is $22.00. The disabled child rate is $17.50, and one carer gets in for the pensioner price (I think roughly $22.00). It pays to ask!
January 9th, 2003