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Article about being a parent of a child with Down's syndrome in today's Observer

(29 Posts)
Tinker Sun 13-Mar-05 18:25:09

Found this qute heart-warming

Socci Sun 13-Mar-05 18:40:24

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Tinker Sun 13-Mar-05 18:45:20

Socci - sorry, didn't mean to offend. I don't have a child with DS so will be interested to read other's reactions

Socci Sun 13-Mar-05 18:51:20

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NomDePlume Sun 13-Mar-05 19:01:55

I agree that I didn't find it particularly heart-warming. All I could think for the majority was 'what a selfish git!'.

Although I did admire his honesty, it can't be easy to admit to feeling those things for your own child. I'm sure that there are lots of families who have a child with Down's Symdrome who cope and adjust very well, those are the stories that are often told. We don't really hear first hand from those parents who really have to battle with their own prejudices in order to love their own child. It was certainly a though provoking & frank piece, if nothing else.

geekgrrl Sun 13-Mar-05 19:07:21

he seems like a bit of a t*sser in my not so humble opinion. glad dh isn't like him . of course it's no picnic when you find out your child has DS - but the article just didn't sit well with me either.

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 19:08:31

I think the phrase that stuck out for me was when he said that he could make people believe anything. I don't know why but my first thought was "Is that what you're trying to do with this book?"

I don't know. I just didn't like the sound of the man at all, and by that I don't mean just because he had trouble accepting his son's DS. He just came across as being self-centred and with an ego the size of a small house. I'd be interested to hear what parents of children with DS thought though.

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 19:09:19

Cross-posted with geekgrrl.

Socci Sun 13-Mar-05 19:16:59

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hercules Sun 13-Mar-05 19:22:48

I have to say I agree with posters who said they felt very uncomfortable reading it.

Tinker Sun 13-Mar-05 19:35:11

He undoubtedly does sound like a horrible man.

mummytosteven Sun 13-Mar-05 19:36:30

Yes, I have to say he came over as being very self-centred - his wife doing a cracking job the first year, whilst he went off and did everything but being supportive, until Lo and behold, his son started interesting him. parenthood shouldn't just be about receiving from your child.

the accounts of childhood bullying of a child with DS was very grim as well.

Socci Sun 13-Mar-05 19:41:12

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woollyboots Sun 13-Mar-05 19:55:08

I read this and also saw a programme about his story called "Fighting for Danny." I have a 4 year old bay that has DS and I really dont think anyone can judge anyone elses reactions to life changing news. His account is honest and he loves his son now. Is this not all that is important

Socci Sun 13-Mar-05 20:05:04

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milward Sun 13-Mar-05 20:11:48

Just read the story - found it honest. I respect him for just telling it how it was & is for him. He loves his son and his ideas on ds have radically changed. He is brave to have shared his parenting experience.

Dingle Sun 13-Mar-05 20:43:51

Very mixed feeling on this. I know everyone is different and handles lifes "difficult times" in different ways, I know he is being honest about how he could not make that bond with his son in the early days.....
...but for goodness sake for such a "great man" who has raised so much money for such a great cause....why on earth hasn't he painted a better picture about DS!
I can imagine all these readers out there picturing the "silly bus" and all the tongues hanging out! Rather than picturing the beautiful , bright little faces of someone like my little Amelia.

Janh Sun 13-Mar-05 20:44:53

This bit got to me:

<<Then I found out that, somewhere along the line, Ronnie, my older brother, had lost a child. I wondered whether it was my family.>>

Somewhere along the line, FFS? Why did he not know before? What kind of family is this?

The whole thing was very much "but that's enough about me, let's talk about you...what do you think of me?"

Tinker Sun 13-Mar-05 20:51:23

I assumed that bit was referring to a miscarriage. Can imagine lots of families where siblings might not know about that happening.

coppertop Sun 13-Mar-05 20:55:43

I also found myself wondering whether the "Danny" referred to in the name "Danny's Challenge" was himself rather than his son.

I think I would much prefer to read his wife's story tbh.

Janh Sun 13-Mar-05 21:01:42

Oh, yes, ct, Danny is the writer, definitely.

eidsvold Sun 13-Mar-05 22:19:47

we had seen the programme that aired in the UK sometime last year about this man and his fight to raise money and awareness of DS. Dh read it last night and I read parts of it - I find it a brutally honest account of one person's reaction to what happened to him. Neither dh nor I felt like that when we found out about dd's downs syndrome BUT we knew in advance - no idea how we would have reacted had we not known.

I also think that for every positive story and experience of downs syndrome- there must be plenty out there that are like this - even mothers who initially reject their children when they find out they have downs syndrome. Sometimes these stories aren't published or heard for fear of presenting people with downs syndrome and living with downs syndrome in a bad light. ANd I am sure there are people here with children with ds who would tell you it is a bloody hard road to travel sometimes. As it is for all of us parents with children who have special needs. Perhaps that man needs validation for what he is now doing because he feels guilty for his intial response.

In fact the more I think about it - I am sure there are plenty of people out there who would react like that - otherwise statistics such as - in 2002 more children with downs syndrome were aborted than were born - would not exist.

In all of that - I am not saying I think he is brilliant or anything - can just appreciate where he is coming from.

heartinthecountry Sun 13-Mar-05 22:38:18

I think you have to remember that this is a book extract not an article written specifically for a newspaper. So yes, I agree it does seem all about him..and not very much about Down's Syndrome. But maybe that's because the newspaper just chose those bits from the book to print. Newspapers are very good at selecting extracts from books to tell the story they want to and it isn't always the story the author tells. I think it is impossible to judge him really without reading the whole book.

ThomCat Mon 14-Mar-05 11:03:23

Sorry but that article got a big 'so what' from me. His style of story telling just left me thinking 'so you managed to love your son even if he has down's syndrome did you, well that's great but don't expect a pat on the back from me'.
i've seen his documentary as well and I just don't paticulaly like the man but his son was so lovley, a really happy little boy who ooozed sunshine from every pore. He's a lucky man to have such a wonderful son.

Keane Mon 14-Mar-05 11:13:50

Agree with HITC

Also i think it serves us well to remember that even though we ALL have children with special needs on here, our reactions and feelings are still all different

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