I loved the following article that was posted by Baby Center’s group on Down syndrome. Read it if your child is 6 months old or 6 years old or 36 years old.
Posted: 02 Apr 2012 08:56 AM PDT
The “reality” is that people with DS are a diverse collection of individuals. A lot goes into that diversity:
– knowledge of parents
– efforts of parents
– opportunities available in the community (school, etc.)
– medical conditions & availability of treatment
– unique genetics of the family
– those genes of that individual – both the variation in the extra 21st chromosome material, and the genes along the rest of the chromosomes (There was some great congressional testimony on this but I can’t put my hands on it.)
– the presence/ absence of associated with DS but not necessarily common behavioral issues (elopement, OCD, sensory issues, etc.)
– the development & use of safe, proven treatments, some currently in trials, some being developed
– and likely a host of other factors (nature, nurture) that make up who we are.
I have 8 brothers and sisters, all the same parents, same home, same upbringing. My sister and I are night & day – and the rest of them fall somewhere in between.
People with DS are influenced by that extra 21st chromosome, but are MORE than the 21st chromosome which impacts many systems – they have a whole bunch of other genetic material influencing who they are, and certain of those genes interact with that extra genetic material.
Give your child love, learn what you can, and do what you can, understanding that you still must live your life and you have other responsibilities. Give your child the proper tools, but try to embrace who she is. Your child will make you proud regardless of “performance.” A child who does not meet certain preset “expectations” is NOT a consolation prize – she is a unique individual with a place at your table, in your home, at your school, in the community, in this world. She will be your superstar – whether than is seen by some objective measurement or not.
BabyCenter’s group on Down syndrome is for sharing our children’s triumphs (OK, shamelessly brag), challenges (OK, throw a pity party), ask questions, share advice, experiences and information with each other.
It’s Wednesday so that means tonight we DANCE……………………………..