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Letter: Doctors, public must realize the potential of Down babies

I was horrified as I read a recent Another Voice, “Parents of Down babies need proper prenatal facts.” I was shocked by inaccurate comments made by the OB-GYN.

When my son Bob was born with Down syndrome 52 years ago, we were given what I called “the never, never list.” We were told he would


walk and

become a “normal” member of society. That was just plain wrong and wrong.

Bob graduated, after attending twelve years of school, with a New York State special education diploma. He participates in many community activities and events. He is an avid sports fan and keeps score of his favorite team’s games. He can pronounce and spell the names of most of the players. He is a registered voter and proudly displays his registration card which he uses at each election and he holds and uses a public library card.

He attends a weekly community program for persons with developmental disabilities. He loves music and dance and he lives in a group home. Bob speaks at public forums about his disability and how he is assisted by staff and family with matters he may not fully understand. He was recently recognized as a candidate for the Chris Burke Award for excellence in disability advocacy.

Lectures held at medical universities across the country now provide exposure to students of families and their disabled children. I implore all medical professionals who come in contact with families of a special needs child, please be prepared with correct and encouraging information.

Joan Harms


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