May 29, 2009

Beach Time!!


We're off for a week's vacation with some of our favorite friends!    The internet is spotty on Oak Island, NC, so I might be able to check email.  Likely you won't see me until next weekend at the earliest!

We have a house sitter coming, so in addition to not being packed and ready to go, my house is also not quite clean enough for guests...Oh well.  Instead, I procrastinate by blogging.  I am just so sensible.

I hope that everyone has a good week--adventures and fun all around!







May 28, 2009

A diversion

Since I don't think I'm going to actually get the Minnesota trip compiled into a montage any time soon, I thought I'd give you this little gem. Sorry it's so dark!

video

In other news, we now are the happy green owners of a new Prius. I am graduating away from a minivan! And who would have guessed that a harp could fit in a Prius? First full day of driving and I averaged 44.7 MPG!

May 26, 2009

Home and Happy

We had a terrific weekend--very busy, but filled with fun and friends! We couldn't have had a better day for Graduation.

Here are just a few pictures to hold you over until I get a real post going, I've got a very busy day today (Dr. check-up, preparations for our vacation--leaving Saturday, iep prep for a friend, groceries, and I have to buy a new car).

The VERY cool cum laude graduate:


The Nan from the Norse!


Hannah and I were so happy to get the chance to meet Monica and Adam from mi2boys! Adam and Hannah had fun in the hotel pool while Monica and I were able to chat. There wasn't enough time together (of course, Hannah and Adam would have lived in the pool the entire day if they had the chance...)!!

And, I see I uploaded the wrong baseball video in the previous post...now I've fixed it so you could actually see a little baseball!  Because I'm nice like that.

May 24, 2009

Slugger!!

This is a pre-scheduled post, just so you won't get lonely while we're off in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Here's our sports girl--and please note, she does not take performance-enhancing drugs. Well, unless you count Gingko.   Hannah plays on the Miracle League and just loves everything about it (aside from no dandelions to pick in the outfield).  The actual field is made of a recycled rubbery material which is really smooth for wheelchairs and for stumbley kids (like mine!).




Go Phillies!!!!
  
video

May 22, 2009

Goodbye St. Olaf, Hello World!




We're off to Minnesota today for Kate's graduation!   We're so very proud of her!  She has accomplished so much, graduating in just three years!   

She will be receiving her Bachelor's degree in history.   She is very interested in Russian history (way to go Boris!) as well as ancient history.  She has an interest in Arabic as well.   So her upcoming placement in the Peace Corps will be a terrific next step in exploring the world!    She is anticipating an invitation to work with special needs children in Jordan in the fall.   What an adventure!!   

You can leave her a congratulatory message on her blog
 (also, if you scroll down the page you can see a video of her harp concert in April).

We are looking forward to a very busy weekend in Northfield...concerts, dinners, meeting friends--old and new, GRADUATION, packing up the dorm room, etc.   Besides seeing Kate (#1!!!), Hannah's priorities are a pit-stop at the American Girl store in the Mall of America, and playing Farmboy's electric guitar (Kate's boyfriend).  It will all be great!


Survey about genetic counseling

I am a HUGE fan of participating in research (a residual from my college years trying to get subjects for my psychology research!).   Hannah has been involved in many studies, from a biomedical one studying how folate is absorbed in the Ds metabolism to the Carolina Communication Study to local university studies on memory and phonemic awareness.  I do every research survey that comes my way.   So here's a new one that the NDSS is supporting, and note that you don't have to have any experience with genetic counseling to participate.

Parents of children with Down syndrome and adult siblings of persons with Down syndrome are invited to be in a web-based, survey research study. The purpose of this Penn State study is to learn more about needs and expectations for genetic counseling.  No prior experience with genetic counseling is necessary.  The survey takes about 30 min to complete.  If you are interested in being in the study, please, go to https://online.survey.psu.edu/downsyndrome/ General results will be shared with the National Down Syndrome Congress at the completion of the study.  For more information contact Kathy Peters, MS at 814-865-1392 or kfp1@psu.edu. Please, please, please help this research project on genetic counseling!

May 20, 2009

Orthodontist

When Hannah was little she detested the dentist. We worked very hard with "playing dentist" to get her more comfortable with strange masked people and power tools in her mouth. It was a resounding success, and now she loves the dentist--she even wanted me to make a movie of her recent dental visit.  I'll spare you that, only giving you a quick visual aid.

It kind of looks like she's got wide scared eyes, 
but really she's concentrating on listening to what they hygenist is telling her.

Last week we had a regular dental check-up and discovered several things about her mouth. The first, and most surprising to me, was that all four of her 12 year molars have erupted. She just turned 11!

The second is that she is missing 3 adult teeth, all are premolars, two bottom ones and the upper right. (James is also missing some of these permanent teeth, but his baby teeth are still doing the job.) (So I'm blaming him.) (And he's just glad to see that she's following in his footsteps. A proud moment in every parent's life.)

The third is that her left canine and premolar are impacted. She had her upper canines pulled when she was 7 or 8 to reduce crowding, and the left one has never come in. That's because it's sideways, laying flat on top of her bicuspid. And so is the premolar.

I'm a little miffed that we didn't know this earlier....it's not like the girl hasn't been to the dentist and had x-rays before. It's not this dentist's fault, this was only our 2nd visit with him (and I don't really know if it's anyone's fault, but I think someone could have noticed missing tooth development from bitewing x-rays). I had been asking about this canine tooth for a few years now (don't forget, we move frequently, so I've had plenty of opportunity to get varying opinions). I've also been asking about braces for a while. The answer always was, "After she's done loosing teeth." Of course, she wasn't loosing teeth because there aren't any to push the deciduous teeth out!

Anyhow, off we are sent for an orthodontist consultation. Yesterday was the day. I've had two kids with braces already, so I know the drill pretty well. And Hannah had two ortho consults before they pulled the upper canines years ago due to crowding.

I should have known--the warning signs were there. When I called to set the appointment I asked if Dr K. had many patients with special needs. The answer was, "Umm, no, not too many, really." So I went on to mention that Hannah has Down syndrome, but she would be a cooperative patient.

So we arrived, and I signed her in while she was looking at the elaborate patient-funded salt water aquarium and computer gaming set-up in the waiting room (Playstation, X-Box, and something else....I don't know because we have never touched those). Can you believe there was not a single book or child-appropriate magazine in the whole place?   The receptionist got up from her post and came around to personally meet Hannah. With a hug. Ewww. That always creeps me out. Then, said receptionist turned to me and syrupily said, "She's just precious." (Don't forget we live in the South, and depending on inflection "precious" does not necessarily mean "precious". This particular "precious" had ambiguous inflection. I chose to interpret the entire thing as a woman thinking this was the right thing to do with a "retarded child". She must have seen footage of the Special Olympics in the late 1970s or something.)  I gave her a blank stare and asked if there was paperwork to fill out.

**An aside--as if you're not used to me going off on a tangent**
We have always stopped Hannah from inappropriately hugging people--those who are not close friends or family. It was difficult when she was an adorable toddler who would latch on to anyone's pants' leg if they so much as stood near her. It was awkward for all involved when I'd stop her in mid-hug and say, "Hannah, loook up at this person. Do you know this person? No. He is a stranger. You cannot hug strangers." Of course the person would say, "Oh no, she's just fine--she's adorable." Then I'd have to nicely say, "Thank you, I'm sorry, but she needs to learn proper social boundaries."

Also, our kids with Ds spend a lot of time in physical and occupational therapy. This means that adults are touching their bodies, in many places, on a regular basis, generally without asking permission. It is hard to learn what is an appropriate touch and what is not when there are mixed messages about who can touch and who can't.

**End of tangent**

So, I figured that if we were going to use this orthodonist I'd need to do some educating of the staff. Especially when the assistant also hugged Hannah on the way back to get pictures of her mouth.

At least the doctor did not hug her, but maybe that was because Hannah was reclining in the chair by then. It was all high tech, and gave me the feeling that they were trying to entertain us, rather than getting to know us.

Omitting boring details of the exam, Dr. K's opinion was that we could leave in the baby teeth and she'd probably need oral surgery to extract a tooth or two so they could access the impacted teeth. Braces now, as well, and we can take the molds right now too! All for the affordable sum of $4900! What a deal! I could have my child's personal space invaded as a bonus! And a free t-shirt! Throw in some condescension, and it seems to be a bargain I can resist.

I was not feelin' the love nor liking the sales technique. We're not going back. It's time for a second, third or fourth opinion. I don't disagree with the plan of care, but we need an office that understands that Hannah just needs a little more time and patience--not a circus of revolving faces and equipment.

I've asked for recommendations from our local Down syndrome goup, and hopefully we'll find a good match--someone who will take the time to explain things to Hannah.   I want someone who will respect Hannah.  And respect my input.

***ADDENDUM***
I called our dentist and said that I didn't think Dr K was a good fit for us.  He gave me two more names, one he highly recommended.  He didn't give me this name at first because the office is about 20-25 minutes away (near Courthouse and Midlo, for the local among you), and he didn't want to make us drive extra distance.   I am hopeful about this one--he's had oral surgery training as well, plus he did extra training for special needs individuals.
 

May 18, 2009

Piano recital



Hannah was pleased to perform last evening at a benefit piano recital for a local non-profit adoption agency. There were 20 children who played at the recital, raising over $2,000.00!!

She did a great job, stumbling a tiny bit in one or two places, but she hung in there and made it all the way through! The piano was a huge concert grand, and the pedals were very difficult to press down, so it was tricky! I wish I kept the video going through her final bow--it was really cute!

video
  

May 15, 2009

Two Turtle Dogs


Today was a day for creatures. (Above picture is typical of Hannah first thing in the morning. She is a collector and a packer. Note trophy in her bathrobe pocket. For no reason. Ball cap? Why not? Don't forget the doll's ball cap too! Broken necklace? A must have, apparently. A new day, a new combination of junk treasures to bring downstairs.)

Where was I? Oh yes. Creatures.

Our usually barren back yard has come to life.

Hannah found this in the sandbox:



The poor girl! Her only phobia is spiders (and their webs), and she manages to find a Black Widow!


There were three skinks by the door.

And Chris found this colorful box turtle.


At first Hazel didn't care at all...


But then the turtle started running...


And before I knew it, there were two turtle dogs. Sorry no pear tree.

video

May 14, 2009

Smashing success!

 
Hannah is in the front yard playing softball with James.  I am upstairs checking email.  

WHA-THUNK!!!

No sound of breaking glass from the adjacent window (thank goodness!).

I pulled up the blinds and threw up the sash.   Hannah started laughing.

"Mom, wasn't that cool?  I almost broke the window!  Ha ha ha ha ha!!!"

I think she's pleased with her brush with danger.    I don't know where this will lead!


May 11, 2009

Dance Revolution

Today was Parent Observation Day at Hannah's Miracles in Motion class. This is a multi-age dance movement class for children with special needs. Most of the students in the class have Down syndrome, and range in age from 5-17 (though the instructor's little boy is almost 3 and he participates too!).

The class works on balance and gross motor skills through dance. They are working out some choreography for one of the songs in High School Musical.


video


And here's our Twister!
(We always knew she was a natural disaster!)


video

May 10, 2009

Two Days Underwater

Two very early mornings...two beautiful days...


Two tanks of air....
Two fins, two gloves, no hood.


Water temp 70....58....49 Brrr!



He's certifiable.


Hannah tagged along on Day 2. Catching critters....


Gotcha toad!
And then the camera stopped working...no kayak pictures, no large-mouth bass pictures, no gorgeous scenery pictures.

But great memories were made, muscles pulled, skin sunburned, and one more Open Water Certified diver.

It was a good way to celebrate Mother's Day Weekend!

May 8, 2009

Another day, another car...

Well, I've been preoccupied with a few things lately.  It took me a few days to write that last post, and I'm not so sure it's exactly what I wanted to say, but, at least it's out there.   Good enough. 

Last week Chris was in a fender bender.  Nobody was hurt, barely any damage to the car that slammed on it's brakes in front of him.  However, as it happens to The Boy,  a 15 mph bump turns into a car that is totaled.  Yes.  The car he bumped had a trailer hitch, which went right through his grille and punctured his radiator.   That, plus the body work needed to complete the repair his car gave the insurance company enough excuse to declare it totaled.   So we've been one car shy--it doesn't make for smooth logistics (that is written in mildly-grumbling font).  I've already seen him removed from a car in a C-collar on a back board, so I'm not really complaining. There are no broken bones.  We really are blessed.

The good news is that he is now done with classes and exams, so he is officially done with High School!!!   We won't have his graduation until some time in July (for those of you who are confused, he's dual enrolled at the community college, so he has classes there and he's homeschooled for his other classes).    

He gets to start off his summer nice and early!  He is taking his scuba certification dives this weekend.  It should be a little chilly in the quarry!   He has to make 5 dives and then he's set for warmer waters in the Caribbean in a few weeks.   Yes, I am jealous.

Other Chris news is that he will have his bone density scan next week.  We are really curious about what it will show!  After a full year of various supplements (he has a mild brittle bone disease), we hope that he'll be DENSE.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm sorry to announce that Fish-Ka-Bob has gone to the great septic system in the yard.  He sustained an injury from an exuberant aquarium interior decorator who will remain nameless.   He was a good fish and we were sorry to see him go.   There will be no more unauthorized interior decorating of the aquarium from this point forward.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
To end on a happier note, here are a few Hannah quotes from the past few days:

"I've got a smile on my face because I can't wait to see my sister!"

While watching The Sound of Music:  Kurt says, "I'm Kurt.  I'm 10 and I'm incorrigible."
Hannah: "Just like me!!!"

And, she's taken to quoting Shaggy:  "Give me liberty or give me pizza pie!"

  

May 7, 2009

Prenatal Diagnosis--The Worst Down Syndrome

I recently checked my Feedjit to see how people arrive at my blog.   Many of you seem to be regular readers, since you log in as "direct", meaning that you have a link to my blog.  Others of you come from other blogs that have blogrolls (which I'd have if I wasn't afraid of snubbing someone accidentally by leaving them out). 
     
Others end up here by googling one thing or another.  I've had lots of hits from my Hannah Duston post, probably from unknown distant relatives!   Some Google searches are pretty funny--I had several hits from people searching for "Sick Humor", and when they arrived at Hannigans, all they got was a picture or two of a sick child and some bad kids' jokes. 
                                                         
 But the other day I saw a Google search that made my heart go out.   Someone, most likely a woman who just received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, searched for "What is the worst Downs Syndrome that a fetus can be diagnosed with?"   It stopped me in my tracks.
Google directed her to my World Down Syndrome Day post.   It picked up key words of Down syndrome, fetus, and worst (the doctors who deliver the diagnosis).  I am praying that something I wrote had some value to her.   But I fear that she did not find what she was looking for.  Not here, and not from any of the other sites that Google offered. Prenatal testing for Down syndrome is not providing the information people need.
                                                      
So, here, I offer words to that woman, and any other person who wants to know and understand the basic mechanics and then, reality, of Down syndrome, and how there isn't really a "worst kind".  
                                                      
 Every child with Down syndrome is unique.  Yes, most of the Ds population has similar characteristics, but there is no universal make and model.  There is a spectrum of ability in the Down syndrome population, just as there is a spectrum of ability in the typically developing population.  The range of abilities and interests, challenges and gifts is just as broad as any other population subset.   There is no "worst Down syndrome".   A person either has it, or they don't. Medically, there are no "levels" of Down syndrome.  Genetic testing does not tell an expecting parent if the child will have an infectious giggle, a stubborn streak, a terrific memory, or a taste for Macaroni and Cheese.  It doesn't reveal if the child will get ear infections or have perfect pitch. Testing doesn't tell if a child will be able to live independently or drive a car.   All it does is tell you there is extra genetic material.       
                                                                       
   I like to think that the extra chromosome makes people with Down syndrome more essentially human than those of us with an average chromosome count. There are difficulties to be sure, but there also is an amazing ability to live in the present.  To cut through all the societal strata.  To live simply and enjoy being alive.
  
  Many people who don't have a personal connection with Down syndrome assume that having a cognitive disability means a person is stupid.   This is not true at all. People with Ds are slower learners, but they are not dumb.  A person with Down syndrome is surprisingly intelligent, usually has a good sense of humor, and has above average ability to transform a bad day into a wonderful day.
                                                       
 I'm not going to try to sell you on all the good points, because I think that it sounds empty to someone who is just starting out. Every parent discovers their own silver lining as they uncover the secrets that hide in the extra chromosome.   Yes, there are some really good parts of having a child with Down syndrome.  And yes, there are some really lousy parts of having a child with Down syndrome. But I think that goes for having any kid. 
  
 Genetically/medically, there are three kinds of Down syndrome.
                                                                                            
 Trisomy 21:  This is the most common form of Down syndrome, making up between 90-95% of all cases of Ds.   This is when there is an entire extra copy of the 21st chromosome, giving an individual a total of 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46.  Many people like to use the medical terminology shortcut of "T21", as it is more precise than Down syndrome (sort of like using the correct terminology of ALS instead of saying "Lou Gehrig's Disease").   The extra 21st chromosome is present in the egg (usually), or sperm (occasionally) before fertilization occurs.

Translocation Down syndrome has a different genetic setup.  In this case (approximately 3-5% of the Ds population) an extra 21st chromosome (or most of it) is attached to another chromosome (frequently it attaches to chromosome 14, but it doesn't matter where it is--the extra genetic material is present).  Individuals with Translocation Ds technically have only 46 chromosomes, but they have the genetic material of 47 chromosomes.   Again, this translocation occurs before fertilization. 

 The least common form of Down syndrome is Mosaicism.   This is when an individual has a mix of cells--some cells have 46 chromosomes, some have 47 chromosomes.  This occurs either because: a) The person received 46 chromosomes at fertilization but somewhere during early cell division the chromosome 21 cell pairs failed to split, creating a cell with 47 chromosomes and a cell with 45 chromosomes. The cell with 45 chromosomes can not survive but the cell with 47 chromosomes will continue to divide. All cells that come from this cell will contain 47 chromosomes. b) The person received 47 chromosomes at fertilization but later during cell division the extra chromosome is lost. Mosaicism occurs in 2% to 5% of cases of Down syndrome. A person with Mosaic Down syndrome may exhibit all, some, or none of the characteristics of Down syndrome depending on the percent of cells carrying the extra chromosome and where these cells are located.  ( I swiped this mosaic section from DownSyn because it pretty much said what I was going to say, but in a more succinct way.)                          
                                                            
 Mosaicism is hard to get your mind around, but the easy way to think about it is sort of like a grafted tree.  My aunt once had an orange tree that had lime and lemon branches grafted to it.  Three fruits, one tree.  Where the lime branch was attached, all further branches and sprouts were Lime.  The trunk of the tree was genetically Orange.  In Mosaic Ds, a lot depends on where and when the hiccup in cell division occurs.   If it happens early after fertilization, most cells will have 47 chromosomes.   If it happens further along in the zygote or fetal development, all cells that stem from the trisomic cell will be trisomic.  That means an individual could have very few cells with 47 chromosomes, or they could have lots and lots.  There could be lots of branches with oranges and a few limes and lemons, or, it could turn out to be the other way around.  There is no way of telling.  
                                                    
Many people with Mosaic Down syndrome have traits and developmental milestones similar to individuals with T21 and Translocation Down syndrome. Others have fewer traits or markers.  Some individuals with Mosaic Ds are not diagnosed for years or decades!    Mosaic Ds can be difficult to diagnose, since a particular tissue or blood sample may not indicate any trisomic cells at all.   I have a friend whose daughter was tested at least 3 times before they had a definitive Mosaic Ds diagnosis.  
                                             
 All that genetics stuff boils down to pretty much everyone being in the same pot.   If you pull out the very small population with Mosaic Down syndrome who have little or no effect from the over expression of the 21st chromosome, then you are left with about 98-99% of individuals with Down syndrome who fall into the category of mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment.  The range of abilities within this category is varied.   Most individuals with Down syndrome learn to read and write.  Many are able to live independently or semi-independently (this means with some sort of help--perhaps with budgeting or grocery shopping--math seems to be a challenge to many with Ds).  All are able to have meaningful relationships with their families and friends.  All are able to contribute to the world. 
  
Every parent wishes for the very best for their children.   Every parent's heart is full of hope, love and aspirations. An unexpected diagnosis throws parents into a whirlwind of uncertainty.  It's difficult to tell which direction to go, or if there even is a direction.  At first, adding Down syndrome to the picture seems to crush all of the beautiful dreams.   Most families have plenty of ups and downs during the first year.  It's hard to deal with sorting out mixed feelings.  Down syndrome is not a club most people want to join.  There is heartache (I had my share, and occasionally still do).  There is fear (what will happen to my marriage? my other kids?  will this baby be ostracized? financial concerns? can I love this baby?).
                                                        
 I discovered that when I was lost, my child was the one who showed me the path out of despair.  It isn't always about us, and our fears and concerns, however well placed they may be.  It's about a child becoming a part of a family. It's about a family learning how to love and dream again.  
                                                                                                                   
 I hear from many parents of young children with Down syndrome.  Over and over again they say:  If I knew then what I know now, I would not have cried a single tear.
Don't stop searching for answers.  Keep on asking the questions.  Be brave. Talk to that friend-of-a-cousin who has a sister-in-law with Down syndrome.  Email me.  Call your local Down syndrome association.  We're not afraid of the tough questions.  We know what it's like.  We've been where you are.  

If you have a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, please visit this new website:

May 5, 2009

So far so good for today

For those of you awaiting the outcome of Hannah's "challenging" Girl Scout troop, I have good news! 

I just got an email from the field supervisor (whatever that is) and she has a new troop for Hannah!  I have not yet spoken to the troop leader, but I am excited for a new beginning for Hannah. Here's hoping for a fresh start!

It's pouring down rain (again) today, and we're holed up awaiting the refrigerator repairman (problem with the water/ice dispenser).   We had a good morning of school, which we've been neglecting for quite a while.  Hannah is making good progress with her GS badge requirements.  She is also working on counting money, so we set up a penny candy store (M&Ms and fruit snacks) and took turns with a handful of change.  We've been working on skip counting as well (2,4,6,8, etc), so it was a fun activity to pull everything together.   I think we'll set up a grocery store soon to review 10s and dimes.

Yesterday Hannah received a package from Maman (my mother).  It was a set of books--The Pet Fairy books.  Hannah was SO excited!  Kate recommended the Rainbow Fairy books for Hannah because she babysits a girl who just loves them.  They are beginning chapter books, similar in difficulty to Magic Tree House.  These are the first chapter books that Hannah will read independently.  She still prefers to read chapter books together, but she likes these fairies' adventures so much she will read by herself.   She's just now starting the first of the Pet Fairy books while I'm on the computer.  If I leave her waiting long enough she might just read the whole book!
 
Today is Chris' last day of classes at the community college!  He has two exams on Thursday and then he's done!   He still has to work on his German (on the computer), but he is pretty close to completing everything! 

Kate has just a couple of weeks left of school (lots of papers and exams...ugh...I remember it well, even though it was 23 years ago!). We are in the early stages of preparing for our trip to Minnesota for her graduation over Memorial Day weekend.  Hannah is very excited to go to the Mall of America to see the American Girl store there.  She has been saving money and gift certificates since Christmas.  I guess we'd better bring an extra suitcase for the doll paraphernalia.  Also on Hannah's list is visiting Kate's boyfriend's house.  Hannah has been wanting to play an electric guitar for years (Thanks Murray Wiggle) and John has a few...he plays guitar in his band Bright Lights and Heroes.  When Hannah first asked for an electric guitar I told her she had to be a teenager first.  So she's been counting down the months.  22 to go.  Save me.

I've got bread dough rising in the warm oven--makes for a cozy house!  It feels like a weekend, but it's only Tuesday. How does that happen?
 


May 3, 2009

Sequenom-Prenatal Down syndrome testing

There is a new non-invasive prenatal test that promised to detect Down syndrome with just a blood test of the pregnant mother with 100% accuracy. At the AIA conference back in March, the new test by Sequenom was discussed at length--its cost and impact to families and society. I have been awaiting the news of higher and higher termination rates of fetuses with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

But now, ta-daa! We get respite from the onslaught. Last week Sequenom revealed that the release of the new test was going to be delayed due to mishandling of research and test data and results. There is a new lawsuit against Sequenom. It's a class action suit for investors of Sequenom who believe that stock prices were inflated from the inaccurate research.

Financial fraud? We'll see. But I am relieved that there are many growing babies that are going to get to live because of the delay of the test. There are no statistics of how many pregnanies are terminated because of a prenatal screening or diagnosis. It is estimated that between 80-90% of all those receiving a prenatal diagnosis do choose to abort.

For more info on Sequenom, click here. And here.

7-29-09 Addendum: I see that I've been getting lots of hits to this post since someone listed me as a person who hopes Sequenom to fail. Actually, that is not necessarily true. I am not opposed to prenatal testing. I am actually pretty neutral on abortion. For me, this issue is not a pro-life or pro-choice issue. The issue is that the parents who are receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are not getting adequate and current information on which they can base their decision to continue the pregnancy, or terminate. The medical community spends time and money on convincing people that having a child with Down syndrome will lead to misery and does not give a true balanced representation of what life is like with a child with a disability. Parents who have correct information about Down syndrome can better make the decision that is best for their family.

While some may look at Sequenom as a financial investment, I look at it as another hurdle for individuals with Down syndrome to overcome.

For more information on a Prenatal Diagnosis of Down syndrome, please read my post here.