Stories, theology, and cultural commentary related to disability.

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Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome: What Would You Choose?One woman's decision and what it teaches us.
Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome: What Would You Choose?

I received a call a few weeks ago from a mother of two who was pregnant with her third child. “I just had a prenatal screening test and they say there’s a 99% chance our baby has Down syndrome.” She had spent most of the previous few days crying.

I talked to her for over an hour, ...

Father of Baby with Down Syndrome Raises $500,000 through Gofundme And yet we couldn't raise $2000 to help 500 families. A guest post by Stephanie Meredith
Father of Baby with Down Syndrome Raises $500,000 through Gofundme
Leo Forrest. PHOTO: GoFundMe, courtesy Samuel Forrest

A few years back, friends of mine began an adoption process for a little boy with Down syndrome who lived in an institution in Russia. The adoption got caught up in the limbo of the dispute between Russia and the United States over adoptions, and Timofei never came to the United States. But the story ...

How a Pro-Life Bill Could Lead to More AbortionsA new bill in Indiana could undermine efforts to get accurate information into the hands of expectant mothers.
How a Pro-Life Bill Could Lead to More Abortions
j carter/flickr

Pro-life legislators in Indiana recently introduced a bill to ban abortions based upon the knowledge of sex or disability. In other words, although the bill would not ban abortion altogether, a woman could not choose abortion based upon the knowledge that she was having a girl, say, or based upon ...

Disability Is Different in AfricaWhat one family has learned from serving families in Zambia through the Special Hope Network.
Disability Is Different in Africa

About six years ago, the Nelson family came over to our house for dinner. Holly and Eric Nelson have three children—Maggie, Mollie, and Sam. All three were adopted as infants, and all three have Down syndrome. I met them for the first time when they were teenagers, and when their family was about ...

How to Talk to Parents of Children With Down SyndromeI am much more inclined to tell the whole truth when you assume she is someone to celebrate.
How to Talk to Parents of Children With Down Syndrome

When people discover that I have a child with Down syndrome, I often receive a murmur and a sympathetic nod of the head. I almost immediately feel something tighten inside my chest, as if I am steeling myself for a fight my opponent doesn’t even know they’ve initiated. Most of the time, ...

Have Christians Made an Idol of Life?Ezekiel Emanuel says he wants to die at 75. Why we can support his reasoning.
Have Christians Made an Idol of Life?
Moyen Brown/flickr

In some ways, the title of Ezekiel Emanuel’s new essay for The Atlantic says it all: "Why I Hope to Die at 75." But this already over-commented (2,500 comments and counting) and widely read article deserves some attention here because Christians have distinct reasons both to pay attention ...

Me and Richard Dawkins--Not That Different After All?The temptation of utilitarianism.
Me and Richard Dawkins--Not That Different After All?
Matthias Asgeirsson/Creative Commons

A few weeks back, Richard Dawkins got the Twittersphere up in arms. When a woman asked what she should do with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, Dawkins replied, “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.” He provoked a somewhat ...

Are 90 Percent of Babies Diagnosed with Down Syndrome Really Aborted?Dispelling the myths about Down syndrome, and telling the good story.
Are 90 Percent of Babies Diagnosed with Down Syndrome Really Aborted?

My husband Peter and I were walking on the beach the other day. Even though she was far away, with her back to us and her body halfway submerged in water, we knew. She turned around and her face assured us. She had Down syndrome, just like our daughter Penny. We were away from our kids for a few ...

Sorrow Needs a HistoryWriting About the Death of My Son. A guest post from Aaron Cobb.
Sorrow Needs a History

I first met Aaron Cobb online when he shared his eulogy for his son Samuel. Since then, we have corresponded every so often, and I was very glad when he told me he had decided to put his reflections about Samuel into a book. When I finished reading the manuscript of Loving Samuel, I wrote: "'A ...

The Surprising Gift of WorkHow Costco gave my brother the dignity we all need--A guest post by Chris Horst.
The Surprising Gift of Work

Jokes are my brother's love language. If you know a good joke, or even an average joke, telling it to my brother Matthew is probably the best decision you could ever make. Even if you fumble the delivery, as I'm wont to do, Matthew won't hold it against you. His deep contagious laugh ...

How My Son with Autism Transformed my BusinessA guest post by Randy Lewis about Walgreen's new initiative to employ people with disabilities
How My Son with Autism Transformed my Business

I picked up No Greatness Without Goodness, by Randy Lewis, because I was intrigued that a senior VP at Walgreen's had successfully created hundreds of jobs for individuals with both physical and intellectual disabilities. I was even more intrigued to find out those jobs paid an equal wage to the ...

A New Kind of Missions TripSustainable, inexpensive, local, and relational in nature. Part two of my interview with Cameron Doolittle
A New Kind of Missions Trip

Yesterday I interviewed Cameron Doolittle, President and CEO of Jill's House, a respite care ministry for families with children with disabilities. Today's post is a follow up from that interview, focused on Oxygen3, the program Jill's House has developed so that other churches and individuals ...

A Ministry for Parents at the End of Their RopeJill's House President Cameron Doolittle talks about a rhythm of respite for families in need
A Ministry for Parents at the End of Their Rope

I first learned about Jill's House—a respite care facility for children with disabilities—at a Q Conference in 2012. I've stayed in touch with Cameron Doolittle, Jill's House's President, since then, and I'm running an interview with Cameron today and tomorrow in which ...

Please Don't Call My Daughter an AngelThe twin problem of low expectations and angelic expectations undermine what we all have in common
Please Don't Call My Daughter an Angel

I received a music video from a friend yesterday. It's about children with special needs, and the singer means well. She wants to affirm children with intellectual disabilities. She wants to reassure parents. She wants to cast a spotlight on her own flaws and failings and point out the good qualities ...

The Story of my Broken, Redeemed BodyHow giving birth made my broken body strong and beautiful. A guest post by Ellen Painter Dollar
The Story of my Broken, Redeemed Body

Eight years ago, when my three children were still very young, we traveled to Omaha for an Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Foundation conference. Both I and my oldest daughter have OI, a genetic collagen disorder that causes brittle bones, short stature, and other symptoms. As we were checking in at ...

Stopping to Notice a Day of GraceI have plenty of grumpy and just fine days. But every once in a while, a really good one comes along...
Stopping to Notice a Day of Grace
Phil Dutton

Do you ever have a day that captures the simple goodness within your life? For me, it doesn't happen often. I have lots of grumpy days--when the kids are whining and I'm tired and there's a voice in the back of my head telling me to pay more attention to the good things but instead I ...

Can Pro-Life Christians Be Genetic Counselors?Virginia's problematic new law contains possibilities for creating a safe space for counselors and clients alike
Can Pro-Life Christians Be Genetic Counselors?
Torsten Mangner/Flickr

Virginia's Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe recently signed two bills into law that provide rules for licensing genetic counselors. Genetic counseling has been recognized as a field since the late 1970s, but many states still fail to regulate it. With advances in technology and an increase ...

What Slowing Down Teaches You That Rushing Never WillThe mother of a child with Down syndrome joins her daughter’s rebellion against hurried living. A guest post by Elisa Fryling Stanford
What Slowing Down Teaches You That Rushing Never Will
Lisa Beth Anderson

My daughter Eden is slow. I know that sounds negative. It feels almost like a betrayal to write it. Our world rarely welcomes slowness. But Eden, who is nine years old and has Down syndrome, remains unaware of the need to rush. Ever.

This morning she walked out of the house with mismatched mittens, ...

Parenting a Child Who Is Profoundly OtherA mother reflects on the humanity she shares with her daughter with significant disabilities
Parenting a Child Who Is Profoundly Other

"Good morning, sweetie peetie," I greet Temma each morning, my own eyes still half-shut when I paddle into her room. Her eyes are most often open as if she has been waiting for me. She startles a bit at the sound of my voice, her arms and feet lifting up and her eyes becoming even more ...

A Doctor Faces His Own SufferingHow one man found joy in the midst of debilitating physical pain
A Doctor Faces His Own Suffering

So much pain. I was at what should have been the prime of life. Med school finished, internship and residency done. Two kids and a wonderful wife at home. But there was so much pain.

I was a rheumatologist practicing in Roanoke, Virginia when I began to have discomfort in my feet. I instituted ...

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