A parent’s point of view on down’s syndrome
To make people aware of how some parents feel after diagnosis is difficult because until you’re in this situation you’ll never really know.
I am a stubborn mare and even at 16 when I gave birth to my son who has Down’s Syndrome I was determined to prove people wrong. I had comments such as ‘there is always the option of adoption’ thrown at me and for me this spurred me on to do the best I could by my child, but these comments came from strangers not friends. Bad comments from friends hit me hard. Misunderstanding my situation hurt more. People mean well but they often get things wrong. Just stepping back and thinking about what you’re saying to a parent can make all the difference.
I pretended to be strong for years, but I struggled. I turned down help because I thought it was a sign of weakness and that I wasn’t coping. The fear of other people’s comments and thoughts scared me too and if I’m honest even ten years on I would love to stamp on some toes for some of the things people say. This is something that parents of children with Down’s Syndrome will all go through at some point, the support they get from you could make all the difference. Be aware of their emotions and the key is to act where appropriate and leave them to it when you think they need some space.
To make people aware of how some parents feel after diagnosis is difficult because until you’re in this situation you’ll never really know. All you can do is try and be as good a friend and support as you can. True friends will be there when they’re needed and disappear when they’re not, others will hide in the shadows and look on in fear. These are the ones which will drift away and become acquaintances. It’s all down to you as to which one you are. Good luck and spoil that child rotten… they deserve it!
See my tips on how to welcome a child with down’s syndrome.
For more information on Down’s Syndrome, visit the Down’s Syndrome Association.