Last year the Children’s Hospital of Boston conducted a study involving individuals who lives were affected by Down Syndrome. Here are some of the findings…
The first study evaluated parents or guardians. Out of 2,094 adults they found that 99% of parents loved their child with DS, 79% felt their lives were more positive and happy because of their child, 4% said they sometimes felt embarrassed by their child
The second study evaluated siblings. Out of 822 brothers and sister 94% expressed feeling proud of their DS sibling, 7% felt embarrassed, 4 would “trade their sibling” for another, 88% said they were better people because of their sibling with Down syndrome
The third study evaluated individuals with Down Syndrome. 99% said they were happy with their lives, 97% liked who they were, 96% liked how they look, 86% made friends easily, 4% expressed sadness over their lives
This study proves what so many have expressed to me and Louis since David’s diagnosis – that the Down syndrome experience is overwhelmingly positive. I look at these studies, and I do wonder about the small percent who are unhappy – but if we polled these same individuals and asked them about their “normal” children or siblings I’m sure the percentages would look the same or be even higher. Go back and read the third study. Look at the high percentages – how many of us could report we are happy with our lives? or that we like the way we look? or that we like who we are?
I worry about David and him being accepted and loved, but if this study is true he will be more happy than I can imagine. What mother wouldn’t wish that for their child. I believe one reason God gave me David is to make me realize that true happiness is not found in how we look or how smart we are or how accepted by others we might be. I pray David’s life will make me happier, more positive, more fulfilled, more enlightened, and more thankful for the true gift David is.