According to the CDC, Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder, with about 6,000 babies being diagnosed each year in the U.S. It is also the least funded major genetic condition by our National Institutes of Health, despite being diagnosed so frequently. The incidence of children born with Down syndrome increases with the mother’s age, but due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80 percent of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35, according to the National Down Syndrome Society.
As a parent, being told by doctors that your baby may or does have Down syndrome is frightening and overwhelming. Mamaloders are no strangers to the challenges of parenting children with special needs, Down syndrome in particular. The most important thing to remember is, you are not alone.
No parent ever wants the day they’re told by a doctor that their unborn child shows signs of Down syndrome to come. Yet once they’re born, parents also don’t ever want the day to come when that child is not in their lives either.
If you are raising a child with Down syndrome, the fear of other children’s unkindness will likely always be present. This is normal and hard to prevent. All you can do is teach them to respond with kindness of their own instead of anger.
Then there are the people, teachers or a friend, who will support your child’s differences in a way that makes even you realize more fully their incredible potential, despite them having an extra chromosome.
What I Want You to Know, written by R.A. Hudson and reviewed on Mamalode, is a book written specifically for new parents of children with Down syndrome.
In October 2015, Mamalode partnered with Changing the Face of Beauty, a campaign started by Katie Driscoll to change the public’s perception of people with disabilities by giving them a presence in advertisements and the media.
Parenting a child with a disability like Down syndrome requires courage, patience and love in what can sometimes seem an impossible battle. But it is a battle that can be made considerably easier to fight if you remember that you are not alone.