Canadian mother Pam De Almeida often shares her “secrets” as a special needs mom on her Slice of Life Facebook page, Daily Mail reported. In a recent post, she explained several of her silent struggles, including her horror at being told that she should have aborted her daughter, Sophia.
De Almeida’s 20-month-old daughter Sophia was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. De Almeida’s posts are usually upbeat and happy, showing videos and pictures of a happy Sophia. Her recent post was more somber, as it addressed the real struggles she has encountered.
One struggle for the young mom is judgement from others. De Almeida wrote: “I know there is racism, prejudice and discrimination. I just didn’t know how real it was until I became a special needs mom. I have been told I should have aborted Sophia. I have been told that she will be a drain on society. I have been told that I am lucky to at least have one ‘normal’ kid at home.”
“These words do hurt,” she continued. “I know it seems like I let them just roll off my back. I know it seems like I have a thick skin. But I cry.”
Abortion is used to discriminate against children with Down syndrome and other disabilities. Expecting parents often are given misleading and outdated information regarding their unborn child’s disability. Because so many physicians dissuade parents, one study estimated that up to 90 percent of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. Other researchers estimate that abortion after a prenatal diagnosis has reduced the number of individuals in the U.S. with Down syndrome by about 30 percent. These numbers are despite modern technological advancements that allow people with disabilities to live longer, fuller lives.
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Stories such as Sophia’s shine through the negative misconceptions and reveal the joy and potential within every life. Her mom ended her post with the declaration that despite the difficulties, she “wouldn’t change any of it.”
“Not for a day, not for a minute, not even for a second,” De Almeida wrote. “No matter how hard or challenging things become, no matter how many friends walk away, no matter how many cruel comments, no matter what health issues we will face, we will face them together.”