In the catalogue to this show Carol Boys, the Chief Executive of the DSA
“Surprisingly there are still a number of myths to be dispelled about Down’s syndrome and even now I am still asked the question: ‘Does Down’s syndrome exist in every race’?”
The answer is: it doesn’t matter what part of the world you live in, what religion you are, what your culture dictates, or what race you are; having a child with Down’s syndrome is just pure chance.
There can be no way of predicting whether a person is more or less likely to make an egg or sperm with 24 chromosomes, so we know that no one is to ‘blame’. Nothing done before or during pregnancy can ‘cause’ Down’s syndrome.
For every 1,000 babies born in the UK, one will have Down’s syndrome and there are about 600 babies with Down’s syndrome born in the UK each year. (This is even taking into account the fact that 95% of pregnant women who are tested and told they are carrying a child with Down’s syndrome will terminate the pregnancy)
It is estimated that there are around 60,000 people with Down’s syndrome living in the UK.
I was going to get all deep and meaningful, when talking about these images, but really all I am trying to show is that anyone can have a child with Down’s syndrome.
Down’s syndrome affects people of all ages, races, religious and economic situations and in all countries throughout the world and all that really matters is how those people react and adapt to the change in their lives.
When our daughter Billie-Jo was born, I have to admit that I had no idea how we were ever going to live with her.
We suddenly had this child that was ‘different’ and definitely not what we had expected. Eight years on and we now have this wonderfully funny, clever and beautiful daughter, with an infectious laugh, a wealth of friends and an ability to charm people wherever she goes.