To All the Mothers of Extra Special Kids, Your Generosity Is Inspiring

It is said that the highest and most noble work in this life is that of a mother. This is especially true of mothers of children with special needs.  As we celebrate Mother’s Day, my admiration goes out to those moms.

When I was expecting our second child, I received an urgent phone call from my obstetrician’s office after routine prenatal screening tests. The nurse was extremely anxious for me to come in right away for an amniocentesis. The doctor, painting a picture of doom and gloom, wanted to confirm a suspected Down Syndrome diagnosis for our unborn daughter.

It’s not a call expectant parents plan for, and fewer still are prepared for. Thankfully, I grew up knowing people with Down Syndrome and had witnessed the joys of raising a child with that extra special 21st chromosome. I also knew amniocentesis is risky enough to cause miscarriage. Resisting the dour warnings from the grim doctor, I declined the additional test.

In my case, the initial screening had produced a false positive. (This is tragically common; a New York Times expose confirmed many screening tests are flat out wrong.) But this experience gave me an appreciation for the fear

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