“The Shape of the Eye”

To read on Fox News website:

Dad aims to change views of Down syndrome in new book

Ellie, Laura, George and Theresa Estreich pose for the camera during a recent family trip to Utah. (Courtesy Estreich Family)

By   Published May 11, 2013

For George Estreich, the decision to write a book about his daughter, Laura, and her diagnosis of Down syndrome came naturally.

A college writing professor and former poet, Estreich started documenting his life with Laura in 2001, when she was 3 ½ months old, shortly after she had undergone heart surgery.

This month, he released his book “The Shape of the Eye,” in which he aims to change the negative connotations associated with Down syndrome. When Estreich looks at Laura’s face, he doesn’t see her disability, he sees his lovely daughter – and wants others to see the same thing.

Laura wasn’t diagnosed with Down syndrome until she was 2-weeks-old. At the time of her birth, doctors noticed that she had almond-shaped eyes, which are often a characteristic of Down syndrome. But Estreich brushed off their concerns, attributing the feature to his  Japanese ancestry. Still, doctors wanted “peace of mind.”

“For those first two weeks, we just didn’t know,” Estreich, 48, told FoxNews.com. “We were just waiting for the results.”

Estreich, and his wife Theresa, had an older daughter, Ellie, who is now 17 – and at the time, life seemed pretty good. Estreich had stopped teaching to focus on raising Ellie, while Theresa worked full-time as a scientist.

But upon Laura’s diagnosis, their lives changed.  Read more.

Cover photo credit Ellie Estreich, courtesy of Tarcher Books