Children With Trisomy 13 And 18 Are Happy Despite Popular Beliefs

By Petra Rattue
Main Category: Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Also Included In: Psychology / Psychiatry
Article Date: 24 Jul 2012 – 15:00 PDT

Trisomies 13 and 18 are rare chromosome disorders, which are predominantly diagnosed prior to a child’s birth and sometimes after. Children with trisomy 13 or 18 generally do not survive beyond their first year of life, and those who do are severely disabled and only live a short life. When diagnosed before birth, parents often decide to have an abortion, whilst those who continue the pregnancy often have a miscarriage.

A study of parent members of a trisomy 13 or 18 children support group has now revealed that although these mostly severely disabled children only have a very short life expectancy, their families nevertheless lead an overall happy and rewarding life, contrary to the medical profession’s common gloomy predictions at the time of diagnosis.

The study, published in Pediatrics was conducted by Dr. Annie Janvier of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and the University of Montreal with special collaboration of the study’s second author, Barbara Farlow, Eng, MSc who is the mother of a child who died from trisomy 13. Both experts sometimes give joint talks on the subject of trisomies 13 and 18. 

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