A mother’s experience of caring for her son with Down’s syndrome has gone viral, in a video which has been viewed over four million times.
October is Down syndrome awareness month, and I can’t think of a better person who is raising awareness about Down syndrome than Oakley Peterson from Nothing Down About It.
When Oakley found out her newborn son, Welles, had Down syndrome, she was overwhelmed by the news. She struggled for the first month, unsure how to raise a child with Down syndrome. But as her son grew, Oakley’s strength, positivity, and pure love for her son compelled her to become an advocate for him through her blog “Nothing Down About It.”
See more of Oakley and Welles' story and the the #StrongLikeYou campaign here: https://jane.com/blog/stronglikeyou-oakley-from-nothing-down-about-it/
Posted by Very Jane on Sunday, 16 October 2016
In the video, Oakley Peterson shares how her son Welles has brought such joy to the life of her family.
Peterson hopes the video will let the world know that Down’s syndrome quality of life “is wonderful and beautiful”.
She said: “If you spend more than two minutes with Welles, you can tell his quality of life is better than maybe all of ours.”
Peterson added: “He’s changed our lives to make it so the focus of every day is just joy and happiness and to bless other people.
“I don’t even want to imagine a world without more Welles. I think we need more Welles in our lives”.
In the UK, a new technique for screening unborn babies for Down’s syndrome will be rolled out on the NHS, despite strong opposition.
The Government confirmed last weekend that Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) will be available on the NHS from 2018.
NIPT is a blood test that is claimed to be around 99 per cent accurate at predicting the likelihood of unborn children having Down’s syndrome.
Lynn Murray, speaking for campaign group Don’t Screen Us Out, said: “We are very disappointed that the Department of Health have approved the NIPT roll-out without consultation with the very group that this is going to have the biggest impact on, people with Down’s syndrome and their families.
Murray added that the rollout is projected to result “in an increase in the number of children with Down’s syndrome screened out”.
“We are also stunned by the unprofessional manner that the Department of Health have chosen to announce the news of the decision coming via comment to a Saturday newspaper rather than an official release,” she said.