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Are you a parent of a child born with Down syndrome, we’d like to hear your story. Click here to share your story!
Your Child’s First Name
Your Child’s Age
Does Your Child Have Siblings?
Yes. One older brother named, Kelton – age 9
Did You Have a Prenatal or Postnatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis?
I did not. We found out the doctors suspected she had Down Syndrome about 2 hours after birth.
How Was The Experience Surrounding Your Child’s Delivery?
Unfortunately, negative. The pediatrician came in and told my husband while I was not in the room. My husband had to interrupt him and tell him that is something we both should be present for and to come back. When he came back he was very short with us and not personal about the news at all.
What Was It Like Bringing Home a Child with Down syndrome?
Uneasy at first. Piper had no medical issues that they knew of at the time, but we were briefed on upcoming specialist appointments. Just the shock / surprise of the diagnosis and the unknown were frightening. After a few months I eased into being her mother and the “special needs” title did not frighten me like it had.
What Has Development Been Like For Your Child?
I would say Piper has always been about 6-8 month behind physically and maybe a year or so behind verbally/ cognitively.
What Are Some Good Surprises You Were Not Expecting About Raising a Child with Down Syndrome?
Piper has always been very tenacious! I unfortunately assumed “they” were always happy or content; which is not true at all! Piper is absolutely a Type A personality. She has always known exactly what she wants and even with limited verbal communication will let you know what that is.
What Are Some of Your Favorite Family Activities?
My kids love to play ball outside! We stay outside most weekends playing baseball or kickball. Piper watches her older brother play baseball and has caught on quickly. People are usually very surprised how well she throws! It’s great PT also!
What Challenges Have You Faced?
People’s assumption that she does not understand. Thankfully, it does not happen often. We live in a small town with a very loving community. For the most part people are great and the school fully includes her in kindergarten.
But we have had those rare instances when someone expects or assumes little of her because of her diagnosis.
What Would You Tell Yourself When You First Received Your Child’s Diagnosis Now That You Know What This Journey Is Like?
“Let it be. It’s not what you think!”
The diagnosis was very hard for me at first. I was scared and had an image of all the things she could not/ would not do.
Just let it be. I would tell myself to focus on every day- in the present. Soon after I did not see Down Syndrome, I just saw my beautiful Kelleigh Piper.
What Would You Tell a Family Whose Child Just Received a Down Syndrome Diagnosis?
“Give yourself time”
You don’t have to understand it all in an instant. You don’t have to accept it all in an instant. Give yourself time. Get back into your “normal” routine of life and acceptance and healing will find you.