Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of Gifts?
Gifts was created to show the world that the life of a child with Down syndrome is something to celebrate. Few parents expect or desire to raise a child with Down syndrome, yet the experiences of the majority who do so are overwhelmingly positive, despite the challenges and difficulties which may come. The stories in the book illustrate the many gifts which these children bring to the world.
What does the book contain?
The book includes a foreword by parenting expert Martha Sears, an introduction by the editor, 63 personal stories by mothers of children with Down syndrome, and 67 b/w photographs.
Is this an anti-abortion book?
Our goal is not to protest abortion rights, but to provide vital information that few parents have access to when they are facing the choice of abortion due to a Down syndrome diagnosis. The abortion rate for fetuses with Down syndrome is extremely high (92%). Parents in this situation are given lists of potential medical and developmental complications, which of course is important information to know. But these possible difficulties are only one piece to the picture of having a child with Down syndrome. The stories in Gifts prove that there are other weighty matters to consider—most importantly, the growth of human beings and human relationships.
What is Segullah Group?
Segullah Group, Inc. is a non-profit organization of literary and visual artists, editors, and designers volunteering their time and talents for the public good. The organization is a 501(3)(c) with public charity status.
Is Segullah Group affiliated with any political or religious organization?
No. The members of the staff (as well as the contributors to the book) represent a variety of perspectives and backgrounds regarding politics and religion.
How were the stories compiled?
The Gifts endeavor began in July, 2006 when Kathryn Soper decided to create a collection of personal stories written by mothers of children with Down syndrome. With the help of Rebecca Phong, calls for submissions were posted on the DS-related online forums, including BabyCenter.com, DownSyn.com, UnoMas, and the T21 Online Community. Robin Roach at BabyCenter had already begun to collect personal stories from the group’s members, and she and Kathryn agreed to combine their efforts.
Potential contributors were asked to write about how their child with Down syndrome has enriched their life. Five broad topics were suggested for consideration: respect, strength, delight, perspective, and love. Sixty-three stories were received from mothers across the nation and in Canada. Each was accepted for publication.
How was the book produced?
Kathryn worked with each author to revise and polish the stories. Instrumental to the production of the book were Jennifer Graf Groneberg, who gave editorial assistance; Joel and Carla Reeves, who designed and formatted the book’s interior, Johnna Cornett, who designed the cover, and Rebecca Phong, who formatted the book’s 68 photographs. All work was done on a volunteer basis.
Who is the publisher?
Gifts was initially self-published through Booksurge, Amazon.com’s POD company. It was marketed for 3 weeks before landing a contract with Woodbine House.
How will the book be promoted?
Woodbine House has launched an extensive promotion program which will reach medical professionals, Down syndrome organizations, schools, and major print publications. Additional promotional efforts are underway through the Gifts publicity team, which includes Carla Reeves, director of the Gifts Outreach program; Rebecca Phong, our webmaster who is also oversees online publicity; and the rest of our our PR team: Catherine Finn, Tara Marie Hintz, Renee Mead, Stefanie Miller, and Robin Roach.
The book’s sixty-three contributors will be contributing to promotion efforts in their areas, and any individual who would like to participate in this effort is invited to do so. Publicity materials and instructions are available to download here.
How will royalties be used?
All royalties will be dedicated to the Gifts Outreach program. This program is designed to provide complimentary copies of the book to organizations which serve parents facing a new diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child.
How can I learn more about Down syndrome?
To learn more about Down syndrome, explore our collection of online resources.
Can organizations buy copies in bulk at a discounted price?
Yes. Nonprofit organizations are eligible to place wholesale orders through Woodbine House.
Place Wholesale Orders.