Monday, November 19, 2012

30 seconds to change the future

My fellow blogging mama and amazing friend Elizabeth, from Confessions of the Chromosomally Enhanced is guest posting for me today.

Please, please, PLEASE take the time to read her post and then go sign the petition she talks about...just a few seconds of your time can change the future for so many.

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In October we spent all this time focusing on Down Syndrome Awareness Month and then suddenly November is here and it doesn't feel like we gave Down Syndrome Awareness Month a proper send-off.  No worries - it's not too late.  There is a simple and meaningful way that we can move forward knowing that we made an important contribution to the Down syndrome community.
 
This opportunity is brought to you by Dr. Julia Kinder.  Dr. Kinder is a family physician and a mother to an 8 year-old girl with Down syndrome.  She has created a simple petition that is requesting that all medical students receive proper training regarding Down syndrome.

Why is this important?
90% of pregnant women who find out that their baby may have Down syndrome choose to abort. 
 
While this blog does not exist to take stands on divisive political or religious issues, we are here to advocate and inform about life with Down syndrome.  As a physician and parent of a child with Down syndrome, Dr. Kinder knows that the decision to terminate a pregnancy because of Down syndrome is often based on a diagnosis that is delivered without proper resources, support and information.

You don't have to look too far to find people in the Down syndrome community who have numerous stories about negative, inappropriate, or offensive comments made by medical professionals about Down syndrome.  Dr. Kinder lists some examples on her website
 
Thirty five years ago, my parents did not have a pre-natal diagnosis.  However, when Leanne was born, a doctor told my parents to institutionalize her, forget about her, and move on and have other children.
 
These types of comments are delivered out of ignorance.  It's a shame that members of the medical community who are seen as resources for knowledge and information, do not have the education nor the comfort level to deliver a sensitive and accurate picture of Down syndrome and it's implications for a child and family.

Dr. Kinder's petition simply requests that all 3rd year medical students receive a minimum of two hours training with up-to-date information about Down syndrome, how to productively deliver the diagnosis, and how to provide support and resources for the family.
 
She needs fewer than 4,000 more signatures.  Please take 30 seconds to click HERE and sign Dr. Kinder's petition.  YOU can make a difference. 
 
*Fellow bloggers, please feel free to pass this information along to your readers.

7 comments:

Lindsey said...

I am a new resident (ie- one year out of medical school) and I am educated about down syndrome (outside of the typical "facts") only because I have a passion for kiddos (and adults) with Down Syndrome. It is amazing how often I hear my coworkers (Read- Physicians) using the R word. I believe this is because of a lack of education- and unfortunately this education is easy to miss if you are not looking for it. I fully support this petition and I will sign it now. Its time for physicians to understand what a blessing DS can be- and to learn that people with DS are way more than the old textbooks make them seem!

CMSavage6 said...

I already signed the petition and have had several of my friends also sign the petition. It is vital! I have a nurse friend who is also the lucky mother of a Down syndrome son. She explained to our group of mothers that while she was in nursing school she got MAYBE 8 minutes of training on Down syndrome. The negative must have the positive to conteract it. We had a horrible experience with our first peditrican and the lactation consultant. But our nurse was steller and we found a much better, much more supportive lactation consultant. I'll keep spreading the word.

EN said...

Thank you, Patti! I sincerely believe this is one way we can make a big difference in the Down syndrome community. If people have time, I would encourage them to read the supporters' comments at the bottom of the petition, as they really drive home the importance of this effort.

Dylan'sMommy316 said...

Signed. :-)

Crystal said...

I already signed it last week! Thanks for getting the word out.

AnExtraSomethingSpecial Store said...

I want to see this too!
I have a 9 month old with down syndrome, a heart condition and bad reflux. The worse part by far of having a child with Down Syndrome was the diagnosis.
I hate that it is socially acceptable and even encouraged for me to have aborted her at 19 weeks gestation more so that if she were healthy.
Please let me know if there is something I can do to further this movement!

cara said...

Signed it!! Thank you for sharing this; all together we can help make a difference.