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Old 02.04.2008, 19:02
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Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

I am curious to know if Switzerland has a higer number of Downs Syndrome cases than other countries, or has different polocies regarding it?

I ask, becuase in my 7 years of living in Bern I see quite alot of people with downs syndrome on a daily basis. I find this in stark contrast with other countries I've lived in. I lived 20+ years in New York and can't ever recall seeing a person with downs syndrome on the bus or in a park....or anywhere actually

I do know downs syndrome can be detected early in pregnancy and it's not uncommon for people to have abortions due to this. I'm wondering does Switzerland have laws against abortion for downs syndrome? Or do they just give them more liberties here than other countries? Or is there a higher number of downs births here for another reason?

Just curious to know, it's something I've wondered about but couldn't come up with an explanation for so far...
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Old 02.04.2008, 19:18
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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I am curious to know if Switzerland has a higer number of Downs Syndrome cases than other countries, or has different polocies regarding it?

I ask, becuase in my 7 years of living in Bern I see quite alot of people with downs syndrome on a daily basis. I find this in stark contrast with other countries I've lived in. I lived 20+ years in New York and can't ever recall seeing a person with downs syndrome on the bus or in a park....or anywhere actually

I do know downs syndrome can be detected early in pregnancy and it's not uncommon for people to have abortions due to this. I'm wondering does Switzerland have laws against abortion for downs syndrome? Or do they just give them more liberties here than other countries? Or is there a higher number of downs births here for another reason?

Just curious to know, it's something I've wondered about but couldn't come up with an explanation for so far...
Perhaps you've just never noticed it before. The number of people that you see that are not alike is perhaps far higher in New York, so is less noticable. I've seen people with Down's syndrome quite regularly everywhere I've lived in the US. Perhaps because you now have the eyes of a 7 yr old to see through, it's more noticable?

I've actually found that I see many less people with disabilities in Zurich than any other place I've lived.
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Old 02.04.2008, 20:00
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

I would say that it was normal to see people with many conditions (both visible and invisible) on buses and in parks. Perhaps less here in Switzerland than other places I have been. What could you mean by given more liberties? They are not prisoners. Usually they are people who live with their families, have friends, go to school, do courses, job training etc. ... live their lives to the best of their abilities. Which would involve being "seen" in public places like everybody else.
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Old 02.04.2008, 20:36
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

Actually, Switzerland is very progressive when it comes to detecting these things in early pregnancy. For example, nuctal translucency measurements are standard here however they were are not widespread in the UK or the US (at least this was the case several years ago)
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Old 02.04.2008, 20:51
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

Funny you should mention that; I just gave birth last week to a little girl with Down's Syndrome. So if there's a lot of people here in Swiss with Down's syndrome, or that have children with it, or experience of it, perhaps they'd all like to get in touch and tell me what I should expect!!
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Old 02.04.2008, 21:53
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

Hey congratulations on your new baby daughter!

It is always challenging with a new baby, moreso if your child has special needs. Wishing you the best for the times ahead.
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Old 02.04.2008, 21:56
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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I've actually found that I see many less people with disabilities in Zurich than any other place I've lived.
I guess evreyone has different experiences. But I'm not speaking of disabilities in gerneral, I'm speaking specifically of downs syndrome. And in my personal experience, I've noticed in Bern far higher numbers than anywhere else I've lived. May well just be a coincidence. But I was just wondering.

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What could you mean by given more liberties? They are not prisoners.
Given that I hadn't seen too many people with downs syndrome prior to living in Bern, I started wondering how much some countries restricted their role in society? It seems to me Switzerland is progressive in terms of intergrating them more into society.

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Funny you should mention that; I just gave birth last week to a little girl with Down's Syndrome. So if there's a lot of people here in Swiss with Down's syndrome, or that have children with it, or experience of it, perhaps they'd all like to get in touch and tell me what I should expect!!
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! I personally know nothing more about downs syndrome in Switzerland other than my initial observation...which lead me to wondering more and posting this thread! But this could also be a good venue for you to learn more as well!
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Old 02.04.2008, 23:08
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

Congratulations, Carter, on the birth of your baby girl . Hope you are all doing well...

I have no personal experience with Downs Syndrome, but do hope you get the support you need and want. I'm sure it won't always be easy, but acceptance of having children with special needs should be (hopefully) much more widespread today.

Wish you and your family all the best,
Crumbs
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Old 03.04.2008, 09:14
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

Maybe the higher incidence of people with Downs is due to women having babies later in life. From what I understand, this syndrome is much more common in this age group. If that particular canton is catholic - a good woman won't deny her husband his conjugals and voila, downs baby again, the catholicism would deny her a termination.
To the poster who has the daughter with Downs, if there is nothing available in Switzerland, the Downs association/group in the UK are very helpful. A friend of ours has a son with Downs, as she was a mere stripling at 23 when he was born, she wasn't considered a high risk so wasn't given the nuchal fold or triple test. As far as I understand, she just has to be vigilant about chest infections as he is very prone to pneumonia. Good luck and enjoy your daughter.
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Old 03.04.2008, 09:24
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

¨

Carter congrats on the new arrival. Should you need it, here is a link to three support groups in Switzerland for Downs
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:07
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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Maybe the higher incidence of people with Downs is due to women having babies later in life. From what I understand, this syndrome is much more common in this age group. If that particular canton is catholic - a good woman won't deny her husband his conjugals and voila, downs baby again, the catholicism would deny her a termination.
To the poster who has the daughter with Downs, if there is nothing available in Switzerland, the Downs association/group in the UK are very helpful. A friend of ours has a son with Downs, as she was a mere stripling at 23 when he was born, she wasn't considered a high risk so wasn't given the nuchal fold or triple test. As far as I understand, she just has to be vigilant about chest infections as he is very prone to pneumonia. Good luck and enjoy your daughter.
You are assuming there IS a higher rate in Switzerland which there isn't. From what I've seen there is 7 Down Syndrome babies born per 10,000 in Switzerland which is perfectly average. According to WHO there are more born in Canada, Australia & Spain.

Perhaps the OP lives near a school/work center or the OP's home country "hides" people with Down Syndrome (as he/she impled) or he/she has been walking around with his/her eyes closed before arriving in Switzerland.
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:13
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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You are assuming there IS a higher rate in Switzerland which there isn't. From what I've seen there is 7 Down Syndrome babies born per 10,000 in Switzerland which is perfectly average. According to WHO there are more born in Canada, Australia & Spain.

Perhaps the OP lives near a school/work center or the OP's home country "hides" people with Down Syndrome (as he/she impled) or he/she has been walking around with his/her eyes closed before arriving in Switzerland.
certainly talking of Bern in particular, I think people here are much more open about disabilities whether physical or of any other type, although I still hate the term "behindert". It would seem that there is not so much stigma attached, which for me is refreshing.
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:32
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

I think it is actually the other way around. In countries where women have children early, you will see slightly higher number of cases. Why? Young women aren't tested and although the probability of having a child with Downs syndrom is lower at younger ages, it isn't zero. Older women are tested and these days (also in many "catholic" counties) the pregnancy is more often than not terminate.

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Maybe the higher incidence of people with Downs is due to women having babies later in life. From what I understand, this syndrome is much more common in this age group. If that particular canton is catholic - a good woman won't deny her husband his conjugals and voila, downs baby again, the catholicism would deny her a termination.
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:35
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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Y

Perhaps the OP lives near a school/work center or the OP's home country "hides" people with Down Syndrome (as he/she impled) or he/she has been walking around with his/her eyes closed before arriving in Switzerland.
The US does not 'hide' it's people with Down's Syndrome. I've always found the places where I've lived in the US to be very progressive as far as getting people with mental disabilities out to lead productive lives.

Last edited by chemgoddess; 03.04.2008 at 12:43. Reason: read wrong
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:36
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

Congratulations to your baby! I am sure you and you little girl will be fine. We all felt terrified in the beginning :-)


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Funny you should mention that; I just gave birth last week to a little girl with Down's Syndrome. So if there's a lot of people here in Swiss with Down's syndrome, or that have children with it, or experience of it, perhaps they'd all like to get in touch and tell me what I should expect!!
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:42
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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As I mentioned previously, the OP noticed the people with down's because her 7 yr. old was pointing them out. Who would probably be a little more cognizant of people with Down's than an adult would.
I'm not sure that that is actually what the OP said - I think it was more that after 7 years of being here, she was noticing a larger number of people with Down's Syndrome here than in other countries.

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I ask, becuase in my 7 years of living in Bern I see quite alot of people with downs syndrome on a daily basis. I find this in stark contrast with other countries I've lived in.
Barbra.
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:45
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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I've actually found that I see many less people with disabilities in Zurich than any other place I've lived.
When I saw this thread I was thinking the same thing. OK, I lived in NYC also, not alot of people with disabilities there, because it is expensive and not very disability friendly at least in Manhattan. But elsewhere in the US, much more so than in Zurich.
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:48
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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The US does not 'hide' it's people with Down's Syndrome. I've always found the places where I've lived in the US to be very progressive as far as getting people with mental disabilities out to lead productive lives.

I agree with this statement, have (or is it had) a brother with Cerebral Palsy so am quite familiar with US treatment of the mentally handicapped.
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Old 03.04.2008, 12:49
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

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The US does not 'hide' it's people with Down's Syndrome. I've always found the places where I've lived in the US to be very progressive as far as getting people with mental disabilities out to lead productive lives.
Don't put words in my message that aren't there!

I didn't say they did. It was the OP that said "Or do they just give them more liberties here than other countries? "

What does THAT mean!!??
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Old 03.04.2008, 19:28
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Re: Downs Syndrome in Switzerland

For Carter, congratulations on the birth of your child. I do have personal experience of living with a sibling with Downs Syndrome and he lives independently and has held a job in a hospital for the last 5 years. It won't always be easy but raising any child has issues.
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