I was reminded of this today at the doctor's office. The doctor was asking me if my husband and I have started considering children since I am 30 now. She mentioned that if I wait too long, I may have a child with down's syndrome. As much as I know that a child with down's syndrome would still enjoy life, I can't help thinking that it is selfish to have a child that you know could possibly have a disability. I could never do it to the child. I think it's time to start thinking about getting my tubes tied since I would rather adopt or foster than have a biological child anyway.
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:31 am Posts: 1219 Location: Upstate New York
Nope, couldn't do it, whether it was physically or mentally disabled. Call me heartless, but I have very little patience for helpless people, and a disabled kid would send me over the edge. I work in a nursing home and I can see firsthand how much work it is. Not interested.
_________________ "Children are the future...today belongs to ME!" Lindsay Naegle ('The Simpsons')
I had two cousins who were severely, progressively disabled due to an extremely rare genetic disease (both passed away around age 25), and I cannot possibly imagine enduring the pain, frustration, and loss that their parents have experienced. Although there are many, many reasons I choose to be CF, I have to admit that their story weights heavily on my decision.
No. If the child would always require care and be dependent, it would be just awful. I would not wish to have that life. I have no idea how people cope, some are truly driven to desperation by the burden of caring.
_________________ Gib mir den Doughnut. Velociraptors love doughnuts.
Actually, it would probably be easier for me in some ways to take care of a down's syndrome child. They're generally very sweet. For me it's easy to have compassion for someone who needs protection and help.
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:28 am Posts: 30 Location: Midwest, USA
I work as an autism therapist and although I love the autistic kids I work with far more than the non-autistic children I have nannied for in the past, I feel for the families. Watching an intellectual or social disability rip apart families is very tough. A mom of one of my kiddos once told me that she used to look at families with disabled children and feel so sorry for the parents. And now they're living that nightmare. Classic "it won't happen to me" syndrome. I have expressed this as one of my concerns/reasons for considering never to have children to my husband and he shrugged it off. It is SO not a laughing matter. Before anyone has a child they should be fully prepared for that possibility.
We have a disabled child, and weren't ready for it, but I don't suppose you ever are.
My son has Autism and Global Developmental delay (Intellectual Disability). He is six and does not speak and is completely not toilet trained so he still wears diapers at this stage.
In terms of coping..we do, it is a lot of work. We use PECS for communication, you don't really appreciate speech until its not there and you have to use (and make) hundreds of little pictures to communicate. We do get help from our families and the govt helps a bit in various ways. We also have a stable relationship, both have the same goals, are committed to making things work, have good incomes and a home etc.
Pull one of these supporting things away and it might be a different story. My son is a pretty happy kid overall, and is healthy and eats and sleeps well (I'm aware a lot of other Autistic kids don't).
Thank you for your post nostromo, and for your honesty. Although you love your son, it must be very difficult.
We have some friends with a sweet daughter who is disabiled, physically and mentally. She will never be able to live on her own & requies an enourmous amount of attention. Her parents are amazing. I've had some heart to heart conversations with the mother and in tears, she has bluntly said that she wished her daughter was never born. It sounds harsh but its not. What she means is she hates to see her daughter suffer and knows all their lives will be forever filled with this struggle. I think these feelings are normal.
I don't think anyone goes in thinking they can handle it, but if you are person who wanted children and you have one that needs you, you dig for the strength and you just have to do it. If you are person like me who may or may not want children to begin with - well, I don't know. I don't think I could cope - but sometimes you just get the strength. JMO.
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