Mother of Sons With Autism and Down Syndrome: Don’t Abort Kids With Disabilities

Opinion   |   Emily Derois   |   Aug 29, 2016   |   7:01PM   |   Washington, DC

Lyn Steele is a mother to two sons who have special needs. In an article published by News Letter, Steele described the joy her sons have brought her and her family. She said she decided to share her family’s story to remind others that children with disabilities often brighten families’ lives.

Steele is a mother to 18-year-old Aaron, 13-year-old Owen, and 8-year-old David. Aaron was 7 when he was diagnosed with Autism. Steele recounted the signs that first signaled to Aaron’s disability.

“He attended primary school, had delayed speech, his writing was juvenile, he was something of a loner, his social skills were zero, and he was – still is – a young man of habit,” she said. “Against that, his long-term memory is amazing. He could always read beyond his years – not totally understanding what he had read, it has to be said.”

Aaron is currently attending the Southern Regional College where he is training to work in catering.

Aaron’s youngest brother, David, was diagnosed with Down syndrome as a baby. Steele was 38 when she had him, and she was encouraged to test for the genetic disorder. She explained that although she was pressured to undergo several tests, “there was no point in undergoing tests, I’ll never believe in abortion under any circumstances.”

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David currently attends Bocombra Primary School where he is learning the material at a speed that works for him, his mother said.

Tragically, parents are often pressured into aborting an unborn child who may have a disability. Families such as the Steeles are a shining example of the happiness and potential each child offers their family.

As Steele said: “They have made my life – and that of my husband Dan – so enriching. There’s so much said and written about the abortion of children diagnosed in the womb with learning difficulties. But our wonderful experiences as parents have totally convinced us against ending lives under any circumstances.

“There is nothing special about us. Bringing up Aaron, then Owen and David, has helped us discover qualities that I suppose we never knew we had. We don’t really think about it. We just get on with it and enjoy the boys. They have made us more compassionate people.”