Sunday, September 28, 2014

What Kids Really Think of Their Siblings With Down Syndrome

In honor of Respect Life Month, which starts this Wednesday, I'm highlighting a Newsday article written by Mary Kay and Bruce Barket, friends of mine whose youngest of four children has Down Syndrome. According to the article, studies show that 88% of siblings of children with Down Syndrome think they are better people for having a sibling with Down Syndrome. Or, as the Barket's 8-year-old daughter expressed it, they are thrilled to be siblings with "the cutest baby on the planet."

From the article "How our Maggie Transforms Our Lives" (full text available here):

"Richard Dawkins, renowned atheist and author, recently asserted that is was immoral to bring a baby with Down syndrome into the world and through Twitter told a woman carrying such a baby to 'abort it and try again.' ... His error is not one of philosophy, religion or morality. He is wrong because his basic premise, that people with Down syndrome somehow decrease happiness and increase suffering, is wrong."
"Margaret Rose, the youngest of our four children, has Down syndrome. We love her beyond description and feel blessed to have her in our lives. Her two sisters and brother argue over who gets to hug her first, hold her the longest and play with her the most. ... Maggie, who will be 2 next month, is sweet, playful and affectionate. She possesses a strong, almost stubborn will and has an abundance of energy. ... Her happiness is downright contagious."
"True happiness and joy are not found where Dawkins would have you look. They are discovered when people of any intellectual ability lovingly and selflessly interact. With love, life's problems don't detract from happiness; they become an avenue through which love finds expression and it is in the act of love that Maggie, like all of us, proves her worth."
If you have time today, stop and say the rosary or even just ten Hail Marys for an end to abortion, especially of children with Down Syndrome. And have a blessed Respect Life Month!

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