Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Day 20! We are celebrating by posting information about Down syndrome each day in October, during the 31 for 21 challenge. Feel free to share these posts to help spread awareness and acceptance.
About a year ago, our President Deb, was approached to see if the Nebraska Down Syndrome Community would be interested in working together to pass legislation that would require medical professionals who deliver a new diagnosis of Down syndrome to provide accurate, up to date and non-biased information. A group was quickly formed, Senators were contacted, testimonies were given and the Down Syndrome Diagnosis and Support act was signed into law by Governor Ricketts this spring. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services launched a new webpage and printable PDF that Doctors can give to families on July 26, 2016.
Why did this happen so quickly? Why did it even need to be made into a law? The answer is simple.... because families are still being given inaccurate information, They are being pressured to terminate their baby due to stereotypes and outdated information,
With the new free cell DNA testing families are being misled to believe these test can tell if your baby has Down syndrome with 99% accuracy. Mark Leach, Father, Layer and Down syndrome Advocate recently posted an article that clearly explains why doctors who use this terminology are actually committing malpractice.
Let's face it, receiving the information that your child has Down syndrome, is never an easy conversation for the doctor or the family. When bias and prejudice enter the mix, it makes things even worse. We highly encourage the medical professionals in Nebraska to utilize the new information resources available, keep bias out of the conversation, and do their best to help families as they learn about what it means to welcome a child who comes with a little something extra.
Keep Advocating! #dsam16, #advocacymatters, #DSAANE