Stories about: diagnosis

New guidelines for physicians: How to give a diagnosis of Down syndrome

stockphotopro_731969kha_pregnant_elly_jp(2)by Brian Skotko, MD, MPP

Every mother and father who has a child with Down syndrome remembers vividly when they first learned of the diagnosis. One mother once wrote me that she was shopping in her favorite grocery story, selecting a can of garbanzo beans, when her cell phone went off. It was her obstetrician, calling to inform her that the “test” came back “positive” for Down syndrome. She froze, she wrote. After all of those years shopping in the same store, she could not find the door. Another mother, then a third-grade teacher, recounted how the PA speaker announced while she was teaching that an “important phone call” was awaiting her in the administrative offices. She told her class to read their books, while she walked to the principal’s office. It was the obstetrician’s assistant. “We wanted to tell you right away: it’s Down syndrome,” the mother recalled. She was unable to return to her class.

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