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All posts in Downs Syndrome

Super proud of these two teen mums. Ashleigh and Taylor may have given birth in their teens, but their wisdom defied their age. When their children, the gorgeous Riley and Casey respectively, were diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, these two teenagers rose up and fought for their kid’s rights. They found inner strength, they battled doctors, they ignored prognoses and championed the little babies in their care.

 

I love these women because they show that while society frowns at teen mums, these teen mums were exactly who their children needed on their team. They are beautiful parents. Age does not matter. Love matters!

 

Out in this week’s Bella. If you’d like to tell your parenting story get in touch today. For support in all things Down’s syndrome, visit the fantastic resource site Future of Down’s.

 

 

And found! Here’s the story of beautiful Bethany, a young lady looking for love on Channel 4’s Undateables. While her TV dates didn’t work out, a chap called Tom was watching and took a shine to our Beth. Through mutual contacts he got in touch and the rest, as they say, is history! Tom and Beth have been together over a year now and are madly in love. He tells her she’s beautiful every day, which is just what Bethany needed to hear.

Huge thanks to Bethany’s mum Bekki for sharing their lovely story with me.

To find out more about Down’s syndrome and get support from other parents in the community, visit the Future of Down’s website.

Out in Take a Break this week!

DANIELSrachelTAB (Large)Hello everyone! Happy World Down’s syndrome Day – a momentous global celebration uniting every corner of the world. You can read more about the events taking place here. 

Last year I wrote a blog charting all the stories I’d been lucky enough to write in the preceding 12 months, and I did the same the year before… Here I am again! I am so, so proud to have written so many life-affirming stories about extraordinary people in the Down’s syndrome community, who have kindly welcomed me into their fold. Together, we have championed Down’s syndrome and illustrated over and over again that Down’s syndrome is no impediment to a fulfilling, happy and rewarding life, that society need not fear Down’s syndrome, that we are, in fact, lucky to know these talented, charming, confident, gorgeous individuals.

NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) continues to gather pace and what I’d like to be writing about this time next year, is that the NHS retrained all medical professionals in the reality of Down’s syndrome, so that the inevitable increase in prenatal diagnoses is accompanied by a fresh and realistic portrayal of what life might have in store. To screen out Down’s syndrome would be to create a society lacking diversity and says more about society than it does about Down’s syndrome.

To the Down’s syndrome community I say I love you and I say thank you. Thank you for continuing to let me write about and celebrate you. Here’s this year’s collective of our stories: Read more

DSUOwoman (Medium)Super pleased with this three page extravaganza in Woman magazine this week! Down’s syndrome has been in the news a lot in the last few months because the NHS has approved a new antenatal test that will make diagnosis easier to detect. The Down’s syndrome community fear that the NHS approach to delivering this diagnosis is not up to date and realistic. It is, sadly, still delivered to parents in an outdated, often rude and terrifying way.

If prenatal diagnosis is going to become more common, the NHS needs to review the way the news is delivered. The old leaflets don’t portray a realistic future for children who have Down’s syndrome today. This has got to change. And that’s what we’re campaigning for here and across numerous media platforms. Tell it right, start it right.

I am so proud of my work writing about the Down’s syndrome community. If you would like to share your story, please get in touch today.

drummondleannebella-page-001This is the story all about how a little girl called Matilda found her way into the world and changed the lives of everyone who was lucky enough to know and love her. Mum Leanne had three children already and was so sure she didn’t want any  more that she was sterilised. Years later, Leanne remarried and her new hubby didn’t have kids of his own. Could Leanne have her sterilisation reversed? Luckily, yes, and not only do the happy couple now have Matilda, but they have another baby on the way too!

Leanne had seen me post lots of my stories for the Down’s syndrome community on Facebook and had always wanted to tell her own. I was so pleased when she got in touch and told me her amazing story – it was an honour to write about Matilda, the little champion.

In this week’s Bella magazine. Please get in touch if you’ve got an amazing family story you’d like to share!

defiedoddswo-largeTwo children who’ve grown into amazing young adults, celebrated in this week’s Woman’s Own. Firstly we have Zoe, who was born extremely premature. Doctors warned her mum, Caroline, Zoe wouldn’t make it. But she fought on… and slowly she grew. Now, she’s a public speaker, she’s running marathons and being an all-round amazing woman.

And we have the dashing young photographer Oliver, who was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome shortly after birth. Needing operations on his heart left his mum, Wendy, terrified, but Oliver showed a fighting spirit even back then. Determined to encourage her son to be whoever he wanted to be, Wendy is Oliver’s number one fan and he has rather a lot of them! Check out his website oliverhellowell.com to see examples of Oliver’s stunning photography.

If you’re children are little miracles, I’d love to hear about them. Please get in touch today! Pick up a copy of this week’s Woman’s Own to read about Zoe and Oliver.

freemanjamiebest-largeThis story has been a few years in the making. It was 2014 that young Benny arrived in this world and started what was to become a life changing journey. Mum Jamie wanted to connect with other families in the Down’s syndrome community, and not just on Facebook… so she started a journal, a real, leatherbound diary, which she sent off to a mum in Canada.

From Canada, the diary travelled around the US, then after two years on the road, it flew to the UK to visit four British families. The diary is now stuffed full of memories, photos and stories. It is a testament to the love and connections made in the Down’s syndrome community that the idea has proved to be such a huge success, Jamie is now sending out other diaries to make similar trips around the world.

Follow the journey here – www.thedownsyndromediary.com and catch Jamie’s story in this week’s Best.

DSUO.TAB (Large)This is a campaign very close to my heart. I have proudly worked alongside the Down’s syndrome community for almost as long as I have been a professional feature writer and we have worked tirelessly to ensure women’s magazines celebrate Down’s syndrome.

This piece in Take a Break covers a recent peaceful protest held outside Parliament by members of the Down’s syndrome community in light of a new procedure that could see a dramatic increase in terminations when a Down’s syndrome diagnosis is given and thus, less people in a community so diverse, rich and wonderful, it would be a calamity to society as a whole.

If you have a story about a cause or campaign that needs to be heard, please get in touch today.

K.ANITA.NewDay (Large)Anita’s story fills my heart with hope – her children are educated at home, but not home-educated… Anita’s incredible gift to her children is to teach them lessons that can’t be learned in a classroom, every moment of the day.

They’re growing up as confident, happy, intelligent people and reading Anita’s story, you can’t help but feel that the traditional education system across the UK leaves a lot to be desired.

Anita was cautious about telling her story but put her trust in us and we’re both so pleased with the resulting feature in the New Day – a story that respects where Anita is coming from, paints a vivid picture of the wonderful life her family are leading and hopefully changes perceptions about what it is to homeschool your children.

First step, don’t call it homeschooling. It’s free-learning, creative education, unschooling. I hope it is the future.

Jamie was an absolute joy to work with. Not only because I adored listening to her dulcet American accent while we talked, but because she’d learned so much from her experience of nearly divorcing her husband and was so insightful and graceful. Reflecting on our relationships is never easy but Jamie styled it out with aplomb and we very much hope sharing her story helps other couples facing a tough time in their marriage, to communicate and persevere.

If you’d like to share a story about marriage, relationships and communication, please do get in touch today.