Blog #71~ Down Syndrome Diagnosis….Have No Fear
October as everyone knows is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Last year in Blog #26, located in the October 2012 archives, I did a full piece on Down syndrome awareness. Click here to check it out: https://nickspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/blog-26-down-s…wareness-
This year I am taking a different route. What happens to a parent when they find out that their child may have Down syndrome? One feeling that evokes the mind immediately is fear. The unknown tends arouse worry and anxiety. Nineteen years ago when my son Nick was born the doctor told us he had several markers that suggested he might have Down syndrome. Three days later, the chromosome test came back to confirm he did. In 1994, there were no laptops or smart phones to quickly Google “Down syndrome” and great websites like http://noahsdad.com to ease my worries. I was handed two brochures by the hospital administrator, that’s it. There were so many questions in my mind. How was my life going to change? What would my son’s life look like? I wonder what that crystal ball would have revealed?
Here are 5 things that I wish that crystal ball could have illuminated about having a child who has Down syndrome……….
1. Don’t worry about giving up your life. You will still be able to work, go out with your friends and take your son with you everywhere, even overseas vacations.
2. You will meet many people who will show you how to navigate this new path and teach you about courage along the way. They will be educators, therapists, specialists, advocates and other parents who will light the lanterns and guide you and help your son learn and grow.
3. Trust that all those milestones you are worried about like eating, talking, sitting up, crawling, walking and toileting will be met. Yes, eventually he will make it out of Pull-ups and Depends though this may test your limits. 🙂 Hitting these milestones may take a lot more time but when he does it will be glorious and sweetly savored.
4. Your son will teach you what pure, unconditional love is. He will wake you up with a light in his eyes each morning. He will share a great sense of humor that will warm your heart and the hearts of many.
5. One day your son will make you proud because he will be eager to work hard. He will take great pride in the jobs he does both around the house and in the community. Unlike most of us he will enjoy vacuuming, laundry and unloading the dishwasher. 🙂 Yes, there will be some things he may not be able to do. But other times he will surprise you. Just be patient and let God take him down the path that fits him.
Those are the 5 things I wish that I’d known when faced with the diagnosis of my child having Down syndrome. So, I tap all the moms on the shoulder that might be dealing with the birth of a child who has Down syndrome and say this…. “It’s going to be okay, relax and have no fear.”
That’s what is in my noggin this week. 🙂