Thursday, August 11, 2011

Special Needs Kids Are Here to Improve Our Lives

This post on our culture's position toward Down syndrome children from Desiring God's John Knight is sobering. Knight writes:
Consider the following about babies with Down syndrome:

* Of women who choose to have prenatal testing, approximately 90% of those who discover their child has Down syndrome choose to abort.
* Two companies are racing to provide new prenatal diagnostic tests that could detect Down syndrome as early as the ninth week of pregnancy, without the dangers of current tests.
* The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists expanded the clinical standard of care to include giving all women regardless of age the opportunity for Down syndrome screening.
* We are already seeing a decline in the number of children with Down syndrome being born.
* Women routinely report that doctors paint a negative, inaccurate picture of the quality of lives of children with Down syndrome and their families.

. . . Prenatal tests are not the problem. The problem is the bias of our culture against the lives of little ones born with Down syndrome. Our culture does not think that these littles ones should be given the opportunity to live.
I shared this link on Facebook last night and my cousin Steve Jones -- whose son has spina bifida and whose painful journal excerpt you may recall if you read my book Your Jesus Is Too Safe -- made these brilliant, beautiful comments:
Sadly, many people have this notion that life should be hassle free and pain free and others try, successfully at times, to convince them their quality of life will suffer if they go through with having a special needs child. As you well, we struggled with this very thing about 12 years ago and the lies some of the medical staff layed out on us were mind boggling. I firmly believe that special needs children aren't put here to see how we can improve their quality of life, but rather how ours will improve by having them. I can honestly say that my relationship with Christ would not be near what it is today had it not been for God blessing us with a special needs child. My quality of life has improved beyond measure. [emphasis added]
This the perspective of grace.


Chris said...


Having a son w/ hydrocephalus, this post means a lot. Thank you for all that you do for the Kingdom!

NHE said...

Great post Jared........I'm wondering, can we expect the unredeemed mind to be able to get it's mind around this? would seem that anyone who resonates with this post positively (believer or not) is at least a "candidate" for the kingdom.

Margo, Children's Ministry Academy said...

Two special needs children recently joined one of my children's ministry classes, and they have enriched that class more than I can say. After reading the facts about babies with Down syndrome that you shared with us, I got down on my knees and said a little prayer for my two special students—and their parents. I thank God that they are in my life.

NHE said...

You know, I think the reverse of this is also true. Our middle child is the smartest, most social, and most strong-willed of the 3. We have had far more ups and downs and deep heartbreaks with her than the other two.

She's in college now and doing fine, but it strikes me that people need to be careful what they wish for. Sometimes the most gifted kids are the most challenging and most rebellious.......if they're going to test for Downs in order to grant the privilege of selective abortion, what's next?.....testing for stubbornness and and a rebellious attitude?

cjbooth85 said...

My Uncle David had Downs...the last of eleven children! He was the 'gel' that held the family together, and each sibling would echo the thought: "My quality of life has improved beyond measure." David's with the Lord now...

This post is 100% accurate and 100% wonderful.