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Your Child’s First Name
Your Child’s Age
Does Your Child Have Siblings?
Yes. ( Danielle) 1 sister age 22, who is a Senior at Samford and volunteers with our local DS support group and our special needs support group at our church. The girls are best friends.
Did You Have a Prenatal or Postnatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis?
Postnatal . I’m really glad I did not know when I was pregnant because most of the literature out there is negative. It seems parents are bombarded with negative possibilities and not told about how much this child can accomplish and what a wonderful life they will have.
How Was The Experience Surrounding Your Child’s Delivery?
Ok. After delivery the OB said she had low ears and that could be a sign of DS it did not even register with me, I was just so happy to have another daughter. The Pediatrician had her taken away for observation a few hours after she was born and visually diagnosed her. Of course he said we needed a blood test to confirm it. We were shocked at first but that was no big deal, it was devastating to hear 2 days after she was born that she had a heart defect. At 3.5 months she had AV canal and PDA repaired and has been doing great ever since.
What Was It Like Bringing Home a Child with Down syndrome?
We decided that first night of the day she was born that Down Syndrome was no big deal. We knew some extra work would be involved but we had so much love for her that we were up for the challenge. We were extremely worried about the upcoming heart surgery, that was the worst part.
What Has Development Been Like For Your Child?
A little slower than other children. But it sure is amazing all that she has accomplished in her 18 years. I would have never imagined she could do so much. She is also a people pleaser and loves to get good grades and progress reports.
What Are Some Good Surprises You Were Not Expecting About Raising a Child with Down Syndrome?
She is a social butterfly. Every where we go she sees friends. She is extremely popular and involved in so many activities with peers. She is blessed with many typical friends as well as special friends. I would have never guessed how much fun she would have in her life.
What Are Some of Your Favorite Family Activities?
We love to go to the lake. We also enjoy bowling. We are very proud to support her in all her cheerleading competitions and travel together.
What Challenges Have You Faced?
Having to push the school system for inclusion. Getting her an aide. The best decision ever was to fight the high school for inclusion. She has grown so much and learned things I would have never thought she could. Being around typical peers has been wonderful. She has made so many friends and I mean real friendships, these kids amaze me with the care they have shown my daughter.
What Would You Tell Yourself When You First Received Your Child’s Diagnosis Now That You Know What This Journey Is Like?
That life with her is going to be awesome. That she will have more friends that you could imagine, she will have a boyfriend and social calendar with so many activities that you have to choose which ones to go to. That the love you have for each other is tremendous and she will perfectly complete your family.
What Would You Tell a Family Whose Child Just Received a Down Syndrome Diagnosis?
Don’t put limits on this child. Let them show you what they are capable of. That this child will bring you so much love and happiness. That Down Syndrome is only a tiny part of who this child is going to be.