Since termination is such a common option for children with Down syndrome, why
aren't typical developing children diagnosed like this?
How to give parents a pre-natal diagnosis:
I'm very sorry, I have the results of the genetic tests and they have confirmed
our suspicions that your fetus is what we call ... Normal. Some people prefer
the terms "Ordinarily Challenged" or "Normal Syndrome". The syndrome can be
easily identified by a complete lack of any interesting genetic
characteristics. I know this will come as a shock to you, but you should be
aware of what this is likely to mean.
If your fetus manages to survive the rest of the pregnancy and the birth, which
is becoming more common these days, he or she will face some daunting
challenges. Children who suffer from normalcy are prone to health and
psychological problems. It is almost certain that the growing child will suffer
a seemingly endless stream of viruses. They will frequently damage themselves,
and sometimes others, from their excessive energy.
Their relentless demands will put a strain on your existing family and, of
course, your relationship with your partner will suffer, and possibly end in a
painful and acrimonious separation. Any children you already have, even if they
also suffer from normalcy, will be jealous of the newcomer and all their extra
attention. Many siblings are liable to be psychologically scarred by the new
I need hardly mention the financial consequences, although disastrous, they will
be nothing compared to the emotional turmoil your life will suffer.
After a while, you may be lucky and find they can be kind and loving young
children. They may find some temporary happiness in things such as music,
dancing, food or playing with toys.
But if they survive early childhood, a Normal child is almost certain to grow
into a Normal adolescent. Your years of sacrifice will be thrown back in your
face as they become disobedient, wild and reckless. Unable to find happiness and
contentment, they will treat you with contempt until they manage to leave home.
Even then the suffering will continue as they will often return to try and
extract money. They will blame you for their own faults and leave you bitter and
They may well become criminals, over a quarter of Normals will have trouble with
the law, many will spend time in jail. Many will have problems with alcohol or
drug abuse. Normal marriages are often
unhappy and short and over half end in divorce.
Even if they become successful this is likely to be because of the often
observed tendency of Normals towards excessive greed. The chances of them
sharing their success with you are remote and they will tend to see you as an
Finally, Normal people are likely to die before their time. 23% will die of
cancer, 33% of heart disease. Hundreds every year in this country alone are so
distressed by their condition that they take their own life. I'm sorry to say
that many will have had a lonely, painful and pointless existence.
I am afraid that Normal Syndrome is a genetic condition that affects every cell
of the body, and so is impossible to cure.
Termination is an option.
Shall I book an appointment?
..... from a parent who received a diagnosis rather like this.
Bob Lincoln, author