January 17, 2011

Research Study about Down Syndrome Blogs

I received this past email about blogging and Down syndrome this past week - someone in Hungary is researching the benefits of blogging about personal experiences with Down syndrome and why this is so much more common in the US. More importantly, the researcher wants to use this info to improve how people with Down syndrome are perceived in Hungary.

Personally, I was greatly helped by the DS blogging community after Chase was born - not only did we not have a prenatal diagnosis, but we were told there was a 0% chance of Chase having DS. I don't say this out of bitterness, but to illustrate the shock we felt after hearing about the doctors' concerns after giving birth. Reading the blogs of parents with a child with Down syndrome put a face to the diagnosis for me, showed me how normal life could be, and how I could expect the same love, excitement and happiness for and about my child. Reading those blogs helped me process things much faster and led me to meet some amazing moms in the process.

Feel free to participate if this interests you - the letter and link is below. Please note that the researcher speaks English as a second language the translation of disability terminology isn't always the best.

Hello, my name is Katalin Revesz.

I am a student with the Teacher College of the Eötvös
Lorand University in Hungary. I am currently majoring in Special Education with special emphasis on individuals with Down syndrome. My research project is designed to impact and improve the way individuals with Down syndrome are perceived in Hungary.

I began reading blogs related to Down syndrome 2 years ago in an attempt
to improve my own English regarding the subject. I quickly realized there are very few blogs about Down syndrome in Hungary although 170 children are born in this country with Down syndrome each year.

This is my final year and I am gathering data to complete my thesis. You
have been contacted because of your own involvement in a Down syndrome-specific blog. Specifically, I am working to establish what impact blogging about Down syndrome has had on the families raising children with Down syndrome. My survey is short and easily completed in under 10 minutes. It can be answered anonymously without compromising your family or child's privacy.

If you would be willing to participate in this short survey, please
follow the link below.

Also, if you would be willing to forward this email to other families
that meet the survey's criteria, it would be VERY much appreciated.

Please feel free to contact me personally to establish that this is NOT
a spam-generated email and to ask any further questions you need in order to establish my educational credentials.

Thank you,

Katalin Revesz Eötvös Lorand University in Hungary

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