Last week, I wrote a post for Motherlode called “Is it Harder to Have a Child with Down Syndrome?” Many readers (only some of whom actually have children with Down syndrome) responded with a resounding, “YES!” and many comments implied that once Penny is an adult, we will begin to see her as a burden, and we will understand her life as a tragedy.
We, as any reader of this blog knows, are convinced that this daughter who is now a gift to us will continue, throughout her life, to be a gift both to us and to many. But the question of “What happens when she gets older?” is a fair one. What if she can’t live independently? What if she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (as many adults with Down syndrome in their 40′s and 50′s are)? What if we don’t have the money to care for her? What if we aren’t healthy enough?
And in a broader sense, what about all the other kids with disabilities, whether that be Down syndrome or autism or cerebral palsy? What happens when they grow up?