Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Даунсайд Ап (Downside Up)!

Before you do anything else, watch this video:

It's a vicious, disgusting cycle: Lock up children with disabilities, deprive them of nutrition and human interaction, watch them become unresponsive due to your actions, conclude that all disabled children will become the same way based on your observations. Repeat. It's horrifying. Of course kids turn into what you call "vegetables" when you don't treat them like humans. Of course they regress when they stay in a crib for eighteen years. Did you stop to think that their problems don't come from their disabilities but from the fact that you locked them up, starved them, and abused them? No?

Imagine that you are a new parent. The doctor tells you that the child you've just given birth to will be a drain to your family, that she will never be able to learn anything, she will never be a successful adult. You will never be able to take proper care of her, the doctor says. The state institutions, on the other hand, can take care of her. They have the equipment and the skills that these problem children need. Plus, society won't ever accept your child, so it's best that she's hidden away.

Of course, none of the above is true, but how exactly were you supposed to know that? You've never talked to somebody with Down Syndrome, and besides, the doctor is the expert. He should know best. And he won't stop pressuring you. So finally, reluctantly, you sign the forms. You leave the hospital, and the baby stays behind. The doctor has assured you that you can try again.


Today in Russia, 85% of babies with Down Syndrome are given up to state "care". This has to stop. It has to end now. And the people of Downside Up are working hard to make that happen. Downside Up is a nonprofit organization in Russia. It provides support and education to parents of children with Down Syndrome. It has an Early Intervention Center in Moscow that provides resources, school, and therapy. Most importantly, it changes society's incorrect views of people with Down Syndrome and decreases the number of children abandoned in orphanages. Check out that link above or like them on facebook to show your support and see other ways that you can help. 

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