LOVING LIFE: Imogen Leslie's experience of Down syndrome hasn't stopped her from living a happy and fulfilling life and enjoying cuddles with her mother, Rachel.
LOVING LIFE: Imogen Leslie's experience of Down syndrome hasn't stopped her from living a happy and fulfilling life and enjoying cuddles with her mother, Rachel. Marian Faa

Self esteem soars in Down syndrome population, science shows

SCIENTIFIC studies into the self-perception of people with Down syndrome add weight to Imogen Leslie's encouragement to parents of children with the genetic disorder.

Imogen, 12, addressed the expert panel on Queensland's abortion legislation and assured the audience people with Down syndrome could have good family relationships.

"A baby with Down syndrome can grow up to be a brother or sister, even though my little sisters can be annoying," she said.

Her stance is supported by a survey of 284 people with Down syndrome published in 2011 which revealed quality of life and a positive self image.

Of the respondents, nearly 99 per cent indicated they were happy with their lives and 97 per cent liked who they were.

"I am absolutely confident 97 per cent of the general population don't feel that way," Mrs Leslie said.

The study also found nearly 99 per cent of people with Down syndrome expressed love for their families and 97 per cent liked their brothers and sisters.

 

SPEAKING UP: Imogen Leslie gave a speech on the expert panel on Queensland's proposed abortion legislation on Tuesday.
SPEAKING UP: Imogen Leslie gave a speech on the expert panel on Queensland's proposed abortion legislation on Tuesday. Marian Faa

In her speech on the expert panel on Queensland's abortion legislation, Imogen assured the audience people with Down syndrome could have good family relationships.

"A baby with Down syndrome can grow up to be a brother or sister, even though my little sisters can be annoying," she said.

Imogen's mother Rachel said the statistics demonstrated a positive perspective from those with the lived experience of disability.

"This viewpoint needs to be presented," Mrs Leslie said.

"Presenting this information to prospective parents would provide a balanced perspective on life with a disability in order to enable them to make an informed choice."

Self-perception of people with Down syndrome

97 per cent like who they are

96 per cent like how they look

99 per cent expressed love for their families

86 per cent felt they could make friends easily

99 per cent said they were happy with their lives



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