I just finished an amazing book my girlfriend recommended - The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. It is about a doctor who delivers his twins during a blizzard in 1964. His son is born healthy, his daughter has Down's syndrome. He tells his nurse to take away the daughter and leave her at an institution, and then tells his wife the baby was born stillborn. After seeing the harshness of the institution, the nurse keeps the baby and raises her as her own. The book is about the parallel lives of these two children and their families.
I have to say, I was a bit nervous about reading the story and put it off for a little while. I thought it would be too sad, something I never really catered to before, but since having Brady I have been more sensitive. I needn't have worried; the book is more supportive and powerful than I expected. I highly recommend it to everyone, regardless if they have a special needs child or not.
It's amazing the changes in the world in regards to special needs children. I have to say, we are lucky Brady was born when he was. First, to actually GET a diagnosis of William's syndrome, and secondly, the services that are out there at his disposal. Speech, PT, OT... they all help to mold his abilities. And then to have plans in place at schools and work environments. It's not perfect yet, but it is a far cry from 1964, where a father is almost excused for his dismissal of his daughter. And that was only 43 years ago - imagine what life will be like in another 43 years.