“Down syndrome isn't something to be scared of. People with Down syndrome want the same things as all of us… they want to be loved and accepted.”

Jessicamother of Down syndrome child

N ormally, each cell in your body has 23 pairs of chromosomes. One chromosome in each pair comes from your mother. The other comes from your father. But for Down syndrome, you get an extra copy of chromosome 21. Meaning, you have three copies of chromosomes instead of two, which leads to Down syndrome. All the doctors are not sure why this happens. The causes of Down syndrome are not yet being identified, but there is no link to the environment and what the parents did or didn’t do.

A lot of misconceptions that people have about Down syndrome. These misconceptions included the ideas that the children can’t learn, can’t speak well, and they are also having difficulties in school or any social setting. There is even physical stereotypes, that they all look alike, with their tongue hanging out and they drool. Other than that, some people also think that the mothers of these children have done something bad during their pregnancies. People think they can’t have a job, get married or go to college. To all parents with Down syndrome children, these are not true. Below are some tips On how you can cherish the moment with your children.

You are giving birth to a baby, just a cute and adorable newborn baby without any label. Do not ever think of the label that you are not giving birth to a “Down syndrome” baby. You are just giving birth to a baby, a unique individual who will bear resemblance to you and your family in addition to some similar features to others with Down syndrome. Focus on the life — not the label.

Down syndrome will not define your child’s entire existence. The huge bit of news will not overshadow your whole life and will eventually slide into the background of a normal family life. You will have bad days that have nothing to do with a diagnosis. You will always love and cry about other things. You will enjoy a lot with your child that has nothing to do with chromosomes or therapy or doctors’ appointments.

Apart from that, there is one difficult thing to do when it comes to explaining facts, especially to children. Generally, all of us know that children can have a lot of questions and some of the terms that we use to explain Down’s syndrome can be complicated. If you have other children that are diagnosed as Down Syndrome children, always emphasize to them empowers them to be the best that they can be. Tell your kids that Down syndrome kids will love the same music as them and will like sports and gymnastics, just like them too. They also have feelings, just like other children, and will love playing with friends and laughing at silly jokes. Having the extra chromosome does not make them any less of a person; they just like your other kids. They just have to work a little bit harder at some things.

Tell your children it’s OK to look, and it’s OK to ask questions. Tell your children you will like it when they come to you and ask questions about Down syndrome. Always remember that being different is beautiful. We were all made to not look like each other. We are all unique. If we all looked identical, liked the same subjects or played the same sports, life would be boring.

Children and adults with Down syndrome are just like you and me. We are all beautiful, we all have our own gifts, talents, weaknesses, and strengths. Be kind to each other. Be a good friend. Include others. Cherish the moment.

 

Nur Farhana bte Abd Wahid

Curriculum and Programme Developer at ALFA and Friends

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