Monday, August 22, 2011

'Deselecting' our children

An important piece in the Globe and Mail today:

'Deselecting' our children

Here’s a recent Danish headline: “Plans to make Denmark a Down syndrome-free perfect society...”


As a Canadian who is becoming a teacher with extensive training in special needs and has been a student at Holland Bloorview I find Denmark to be one of the foremost countries for care for special needs children. I am currently an aupair to a child who has multiple challenges and the extensive care that is provided by the state is amazing compared to Canada. He still does not have an official diagnosis but he was able to be put in a daycare for special needs children, which has 19 children and 20 staff including, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, ergo-therapists, and a psychologist, all at no extra cost to the family. Respite care is also provided for the family at a special needs facility for 5 days every 2 weeks. The level of care in Denmark is impeccable for children facing challenges and adults who face these challenges, so I take this article with a grain of salt because experiencing the level of care in this country is amazing.

Thank you for sharing your firsthand experience with the high level of services and supports offered families in Denmark. I have heard this before. It's interesting that there would be such great supports (especially the respite!) and at the same time such a push to prevent through prenatal screening Down syndrome. But, as you say, perhaps this was not a well researched article. Thanks for sharing!