April 2012 Newsletter

Posted By on April 10, 2012

I Don’t Like When People Call Me Retarded: My friend David has Down Syndrome. God made him different from me, but we’re all different from each other in some way. If God made everybody the same then life would be boring. One out of every one thousand babies is born with Down Syndrome. They have physical, mental, and social challenges that range from mild to severe. People with Down Syndrome may also have a shortened attention span and difficulty learning. When David was born his mother asked the doctor, “what should I do with him?” the doctor said, “just take him home and love him”.

David lives with a foster family since both of his parents have died. He has his own bedroom and keeps it very clean. His caregiver says that he has only a few faults and is otherwise a great person, which can really be said about most everyone. He used to have a job but his feet hurt, his legs got tired, and had to rest a lot, so now he goes to adult daycare every day.

David’s parents died over ten years ago and he still hurts deep down inside and thinks about them every day. He feels very lonely in life since most of his close relatives have passed away, however he finds strength from his church and his friends, like me. He has a very funny sense of humor and is easy to be around even though he stutters a bit when he talks. He has very good manners and likes a lot of the things that I like: movies, television, and ice cream. David likes to participate in the Special Olympics Bowling Tournament.

Many years ago a cruel boy that lived on David’s street called him “retarded” and he went straight home and cried his eyes out. He just wants people to consider him to be like everyone else, since he really is except for a few differences. I need to be more patient when I spend time with David since he takes longer to eat and do most everything, however it is worth the extra effort since deep down inside he is a loving and caring friend.

Since  I have a friend like David, I agree that people should not look down on people with disabilities and should not call them names or treat them in a hurtful way. God has a reason for making us all different and we should not make fun of or insult any of God’s creations.

I am a better person since God has allowed me to have a friend like David. I see that what really matters is what a person is like on the inside. Some day when I die and go to heaven, I will see my friend David and he won’t have Down Syndrome any more. . . . . Sam Horine, St. Charles Borromeo School

How is it that a 4th grader gets it? What a joy to find youth who know the truth and are able to express it. Sam’s words and deeds will influence our  culture in a way our generation has not.

Did You Know?: Since 1958 doctors have been able to withdraw amniotic fluid from the womb of a pregnant woman, examine it, and diagnose the likihood of the baby having Down’s Syndrome, a medical condition caused by an extra copy of a 21st chromosome. The accuracy of the test (known as “amniocentesis”) stands at 99.4%. but for six of every 1,000 children, the test provides a false-positive – the baby does not have the condition.

This test can cause miscarriage (in one of every 300 tests), the baby can be harmed by the needle, the mother gets an infection, or the test brings on early labor. Most recently a new non-invasive blood test has been developed that can provide accurate and earlier prenatal readings for Down’s Syndrome.

When the diagnosis shows a high likelihood of Down’s Syndrome, in 80-92% of the cases the decision is made to end the baby’s life.

When parents receive this diagnosis we need to be equipped with accurate and Scripturally sound education that would compel a woman who receives a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome, to make the decision to protect her baby’s life.

Unforgettable Words: I remember her words as if it were yesterday. In actuality, however, it was several years ago at our LFL conference in www.lutheransforlife.org

St. Louis, Missouri. We introduced a new version of our For Life promotional video. Mikki, a child with Down Syndrome, and her mother were featured in the video. When the diagnosis was made before Mikki was born, her mom received a great deal of pressure to abort. She choose life!

We invited Mikki and her parents to the conference where we showed the video for the first time. After the viewing, we asked Mikki if she would like to say anything to the gathering of over 300 people. She readily took the microphone and spoke those unforgettable words, “Thanks for giving kids like me a chance.” To a standing ovation, she returned to her seat.

LFL stands today to salute all the “Mikki’s” and their families out there. We share what we hear over and over again from parents of Down Syndrome children-they are such a BLESSING. . . . . Dr. James Lamb

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