TO NEW AND EXPECTANT PARENTS
Congratulations on the birth, or expected birth, of your baby! We understand that your baby may have Down syndrome. You probably have many questions, concerns and fears right now. That’s okay.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that this diagnosis is not as “life changing” as the fact that you have a new baby. And in most ways, your baby will be just like other infants. Every baby needs to be fed, held and most of all, loved.
There will be challenges in raising your child, but there will also be many, many joys. It’s normal to be nervous about what lies ahead, but remember that Down syndrome is a condition your baby has, it is not who your baby is. Now is the time to begin learning all you can about Down syndrome and this website is a great place to start.
You are not alone. You have now connected with many people who have been in the exact place you are right now.
Take it Slow
You may feel pressured to make difficult decisions quickly – but STOP – take deep breaths and don”t. Take time for yourself and your child.
Gather facts, discuss them with your spouse or significant other, your family and your friends. Then, only when you are ready make your own informed decisions.
It’s easy to overload on information or seem overwhelmed. There is no possible way to know what is relevant and what isn’t. Please don’t worry about the future – about where your child may be at 3, 13, or 36.
Myths and misconceptions about Down syndrome are everywhere. Unfortunately they are even often held by Medical Professionals. Even the facts change rapidly. While researching Down syndrome please disregard anything published prior to 2002 and look for more current material.
No Change Required
Nothing in the news changes anything about your pregnancy. Assuming you are healthy and enjoying the coming months. The same is true for the first few years of your child’s life. He/she will be just that, a baby – demanding love, care, stimulation – OH and clean diapers! Enjoy!
There are some who would claim that a child with Down syndrome is burdensome. We completely disagree. Nothing about Down syndrome is implicitly burdensome – although it has it’s challenges. Being a new parent is challenging regardless of your child’s abilities.
Your baby is an exciting package of potential waiting to become whatever he or she can be. Your baby will do all of just what babies do – cry, gurgle, eat, sleep. Eventually – he will walk, run, jump and play. You will be rewarded in ways you cannot possibly imagine.
Coming to terms with what your child can and cannot do is all a special part of parenting. As your child grows you will quickly notice their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t feel shattered and torn by a diagnosis.
We cannot predict the future and no one should. We are more than happy to share with you what our children have achieved. They are vivid learners, eagle scouts, class leaders, homecoming royalty, long distance swimmers, published authors, poets, artists and musicians. They can drive cars, own homes, have jobs and fall in love.
MOST OF ALL – they are people we love, adore and support.