Network helps parents-to-be through a Down syndrome diagnosis

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- New or expectant parents to babies with Down syndrome now have a national Support Network to guide them through the often-turbulent transition into rearing a child with special needs.

The Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network, based out of Minnesota, is set up to fill a gap in services for these families.

Springfield resident Heather Hicks' son is celebrating his first birthday this weekend.

She said with prenatal testing for Down syndrome becoming more mainstream, the new network provides help at the critical point of diagnosis.

"During the time when you're waiting for that, 'does my baby, doesn't my baby', it will be good for those women," said Hicks.

The Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network will allow parents to give their doctors feedback on how they delivered the diagnosis.

Hicks said the DSDN could connect families to Facebook support groups in their local area.

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects 1 in every 700 babies born in America.