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Fundies and Down syndrome


isarhenne

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What's the deal with fundies and Down syndrome? Do we know any fundie families who have a child who has Down syndrome? they have so many children but none of them seems to have a chromosomal disorder although quiverfull women get pregnant in their 40's. When there are so many children where are the disabled ones? I haven't seen any?

I ask because yesterday a coworker told me she has a daughter with Down's syndrome, her only child. And it kept me wondering about why we haven't seen any children like that in fundie families. I'm sorry have to admit I also thought about Josie. She doesn't seem to have Down syndrome but maybe the Mosaic variation? I don't know.

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Peter Bradrick!'s brother Andy has a baby with DS. The youngest of 11 kids.

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Locally, I have one friend and one acquaintance who have sons with Down syndrome. Both fundies, one moreso than the other. Both ladies are in their forties, and both boys are the youngest child. I know another woman (a relative of a local fundie friend, and more fundie-lite) with an elementary aged daughter with Down syndrome. I don't think it's any less common in fundies than the general population. And I don't think they try to hide them (I apologize if I'm wrong, I sorta gathered that's what you're implying). I actually think it makes them more proud/vocal about their pro-life views.

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Some fundies do have kids with Down Syndrome, like the Muncks. Its one of the acceptable forms of disability for fundies, because it is something noticeable that people will probably think "OMG look how Godly you are for not aborting!", and also because it is something that can be detected during pregnancy and a lot of people abort, and they want to show off being special pro life people who didn't.

Its like having pro life street cred, having a kid with a disability. Like Adeye and her attempt to adopt as many severely disabled children as possible, the way the Duggars have made Josie the poster child for pro life causes because she was born very prematurely and is now relatively healthy, all of the pro life stuff that fetishizes people with disabilities for not being aborted, look how wonderful they turned out, raising a kid with disabilities is all rainbows and sunshine and you should feel blessed instead of have an abortion.

Fundies seem to be okay with having a child with Down Syndrome, or physical disabilities...but I don't think they would be so accepting of a child who had something that wasn't as noticeable, like ADHD, autism (especially if it was towards the milder end of the spectrum and they could just assume the kid needed more spankings) or any form of mental health problem, which they don't generally believe in.

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Some fundies do have kids with Down Syndrome, like the Muncks. Its one of the acceptable forms of disability for fundies, because it is something noticeable that people will probably think "OMG look how Godly you are for not aborting!", and also because it is something that can be detected during pregnancy and a lot of people abort, and they want to show off being special pro life people who didn't.

Its like having pro life street cred, having a kid with a disability. Like Adeye and her attempt to adopt as many severely disabled children as possible, the way the Duggars have made Josie the poster child for pro life causes because she was born very prematurely and is now relatively healthy, all of the pro life stuff that fetishizes people with disabilities for not being aborted, look how wonderful they turned out, raising a kid with disabilities is all rainbows and sunshine and you should feel blessed instead of have an abortion.

Fundies seem to be okay with having a child with Down Syndrome, or physical disabilities...but I don't think they would be so accepting of a child who had something that wasn't as noticeable, like ADHD, autism (especially if it was towards the milder end of the spectrum and they could just assume the kid needed more spankings) or any form of mental health problem, which they don't generally believe in.

in response to the bolded: I think that is very true. I have fundie-lites in my extended family and, while they're *somewhat* understanding and accepting of things like adhd and Asperger's, they also are quick to label these children as being manipulative and to think they just need to be beat more. It's not that these kids are totally innocent of knowing how to use their diagnosis to try to prevent negative consequences (Salsette #2 has adhd and a serious anxiety disorder and I know for a fact she's done just that), but it also seems that there's less compassion for children in general and especially for those who really do have particular struggles.

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Remember the Smockity Frocks/autism debacle? I think that prints a pretty accurate picture of how fundies view autism and related conditions.

For those that don't know, Smockity saw a little girl at the public library who displayed all the characteristics of autism. Her grandmother handled her beautifully, but Smockity was appalled and thought she needed a good spanking. She received a ton of criticism and scrubbed her blog but it's out there on google.

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Remember the Smockity Frocks/autism debacle? I think that prints a pretty accurate picture of how fundies view autism and related conditions.

For those that don't know, Smockity saw a little girl at the public library who displayed all the characteristics of autism. Her grandmother handled her beautifully, but Smockity was appalled and thought she needed a good spanking. She received a ton of criticism and scrubbed her blog but it's out there on google.

:snooty: to smockity biotch and :clap: to those who called her out.

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Stefanie of Ni Hao Y'all just adopted a Chinese girl with DS. She's not really fundy in the bad fundy sense. Definitely some child collector stuff going on there though, I think. Four bio kids, nine from China (including one who passed away before they could bring her home). But she doesn't complain about them and she feeds them and looks after them, so.

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Came in here to mention Adeye, see it's been covered...

I just want to say heck yes to the fetishization aspect. Honestly to my eyes it borders on the creepy sometimes, there's this "look at me, how wonderfully accepting I am to adopt this kid that surely no one else wants, look at me, God smiles on me, I'm doing God's work" combined with this idea of "these kids are just so happy 24/7, they exist to teach us all about love, they exist to teach us all about compassion, about Jesus, about what's important in life" - maybe they exist for their own reasons, maybe it's not ALL ABOUT YOU, maybe they don't exist just to be a bit player in your wonderful show about how great you are. They are their own PEOPLE, y'know? Full people?

It isn't only fundies who do that sort of fetishization but wow, on the adopting blogs some people have a serious case of it.

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Didn't Lydia of Purple have a daughter with DS?

I read the book "Write These Laws Upon Your Children," about conservative Christian homeschoolers. One of the families featured did SOTDRT-style education. One of their daughters had hearing loss in one ear. The mother was well aware of this, had been to all of her daughter's doctor appointments, and seemed to understand the nature and extent of the problem. And yet, if her daughter mispronounced a word or missed a direction because she didn't hear it correctly, the mother was convinced her daughter was doing it deliberately. She punished her daughter for being "disobedient" and "manipulative," even though it was the result of her daughter's verifiable medical problem.

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Came in here to mention Adeye, see it's been covered...

I just want to say heck yes to the fetishization aspect. Honestly to my eyes it borders on the creepy sometimes, there's this "look at me, how wonderfully accepting I am to adopt this kid that surely no one else wants, look at me, God smiles on me, I'm doing God's work" combined with this idea of "these kids are just so happy 24/7, they exist to teach us all about love, they exist to teach us all about compassion, about Jesus, about what's important in life" - maybe they exist for their own reasons, maybe it's not ALL ABOUT YOU, maybe they don't exist just to be a bit player in your wonderful show about how great you are. They are their own PEOPLE, y'know? Full people?

It isn't only fundies who do that sort of fetishization but wow, on the adopting blogs some people have a serious case of it.

So much this, in some cases. I worked with the dad of a fundie Roman Catholic (pre vatican two, skirts only, no tv except for baseball games once a week, etc) who adopted foreign born children with disabilities... quite a few of them. I always got a bit of a "munchausen by proxy" vibe off the mom, but she didn't have to poison her kids to get the attention--she could get a boatload of attention just by showing up with her van loads of kids in wheelchairs, etc.

In the holier than thou games, she was playing in several leagues....

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There are fundie Catholic bloggers who have adopted children with special needs. There was, the late Barbara Curtis, from A Mommy Life. Barbara and her husband Tripp had 8 biological children. The youngest biological son Jonny has Down syndrome. The family later adopted three boys with DS, several years after Jonny was born. Barbara died in 2012. The family still updates the blog here and there. One of the daughters Maddy, auditioned for American Idol back in 2010. Her audition aired along with a segment on the boys with DS and how Maddy helped out with them.

mommylife.net/

There is Brianna Heldt in Denver. Brianna is a Catholic convert. IIRC, she converted when she married her husband. They have 8 kids, 4 of them are adopted. Two of the adopted kids have DS.

briannaheldt.com/about-2/#sthash.bJQ5aNrF.dpbs

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In some ultra-orthodox Jewish communities, children with Down Syndrome are often abandoned/adopted out at birth. I read about this in a thread on imamother where chassidish women were discussing a chassidish community where women are told to do this by their rebbe (head of and "pope-like" man in a chassidic dynasty).

Here are some articles, blogs, and message boards discussing it.

http://m.forward.com/articles/180308/mo ... -ul/?p=all

http://orthonomics.blogspot.com/2009/04 ... ng-in.html

(See the comment starting with "The shidduch crisis is caused by".)

http://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2014/0 ... d-torture/

(Comment starting with There are many characteristics of cults)

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Thanks for the link of the girl Maddy. I think that's great what the family did. Sad that the mother died though.

A little off topic but does anyone know how the Fundies feel about people w/ dwarfism.

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Thanks for the link of the girl Maddy. I think that's great what the family did. Sad that the mother died though.

A little off topic but does anyone know how the Fundies feel about people w/ dwarfism.

What do you mean? :-)

It's just a medical disorder, like any other chromosomal mutation, right?

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Some fundies do have kids with Down Syndrome, like the Muncks. Its one of the acceptable forms of disability for fundies, because it is something noticeable that people will probably think "OMG look how Godly you are for not aborting!", and also because it is something that can be detected during pregnancy and a lot of people abort, and they want to show off being special pro life people who didn't.

Its like having pro life street cred, having a kid with a disability. Like Adeye and her attempt to adopt as many severely disabled children as possible, the way the Duggars have made Josie the poster child for pro life causes because she was born very prematurely and is now relatively healthy, all of the pro life stuff that fetishizes people with disabilities for not being aborted, look how wonderful they turned out, raising a kid with disabilities is all rainbows and sunshine and you should feel blessed instead of have an abortion.

Fundies seem to be okay with having a child with Down Syndrome, or physical disabilities...but I don't think they would be so accepting of a child who had something that wasn't as noticeable, like ADHD, autism (especially if it was towards the milder end of the spectrum and they could just assume the kid needed more spankings) or any form of mental health problem, which they don't generally believe in.

That describes a friend's childhood too well. Fortunately, she and her husband are doing well, and she's a great mother to her kids -- but has no contact with her parents (and I believe siblings). Being beaten and refused food and abused in other ways will make one a BIT less likely to want their parents around.

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I'd be more interested in hearing about fundie families with autistic children. I have literally never heard of one family here with a child on the spectrum, which I think is interesting, considering autism rates are much, much higher than DS (1/110 for AS, 1/1000 for DS). However, there are many minor fundie families I am not familiar with, so that may be why I have not seen a case here yet.

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I'd be more interested in hearing about fundie families with autistic children. I have literally never heard of one family here with a child on the spectrum, which I think is interesting, considering autism rates are much, much higher than DS (1/110 for AS, 1/1000 for DS). However, there are many minor fundie families I am not familiar with, so that may be why I have not seen a case here yet.

There was the Hall family years ago (like in 2008) that had multiple (3+?) (biological) kids on the spectrum. And there was one kid with neurofibromatosis. And they adopted two or three kids from Liberia. At least one of those adoptions had disrupted by the time their blog went offline.

EDIT: Their blog didn't go offline after all. It just stopped being updated. It can be found here: lotsoflittlehalls.blogspot.com.

The "His Hands His Feet Today" Facebook page family has a nonverbal autistic child. They adopted her knowing she had autism. Her original adoptive family disrupted for reasons related to the severity of her disability.

I know they're more fundie-lite, but the Reed family (the ones who have tons of adopted kids) have a biological child with Aspergers. Years ago, the mom blogged about it from time to time. In more recent years, she's been leaving personal stuff like that out of her blogging, in an effort to respect her children's privacy.

There is also a substantial portion of people with Down Syndrome who also have autism. I know of one fundie-lite blog (that has since gone offline) that discussed their daughter's autism. They adopted her (I think from Liberia, but don't quote me on that) knowing about the Down Syndrome, but at the time they didn't realize she had autism too. They weren't sure how much of the autism was due to the Down Syndrome (there's a correlation) or how much was due to institutionalization. They were pretty upbeat about it, though. For instance, when their little girl would take off running, they recognized that it was a sensory thing for her and not defiance. (I think they used one of those backpack leashes when out in public, for safety reasons.)

I'll see if I can think of more.

EDIT: I don't know if they're still publishing new articles, but check out nathhan.com for more families.

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I used to know a girl with the Mosaic kind of Down's. We grew up on the same estate and she went to a mainstream primary school. Her parents and teacher just thought she was awkward/badly behaved and she wasn't diagnosed until age 12. That's when she was moved to a special school. She was always telling me about getting into trouble for this and that, but no one knew the real reason for years. Mosaic can and does take ages to diagnose as the usual symptoms aren't obvious. I suspect my friend would have been suicidally miserable in a fundie family as they probably wouldn't have bothered taking her to be tested, and would have just been labelled an evil sinner who needed to be beaten harder.

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I'd be more interested in hearing about fundie families with autistic children. I have literally never heard of one family here with a child on the spectrum, which I think is interesting, considering autism rates are much, much higher than DS (1/110 for AS, 1/1000 for DS). However, there are many minor fundie families I am not familiar with, so that may be why I have not seen a case here yet.

I wonder about autism thing also.

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