Down Syndrome is one of the most prevalent and yet misunderstood conditions today. In light of this fact, here we present a list of 18 things parents of children who have the condition want you to know. Check it out for yourself below – you might be surprised by what you learn!
Number Eighteen: Children Who Have Down Syndrome Are Happy
It’s a common misconception that because of the hardships children with Down Syndrome face, they struggle to experience happiness like other children. However, this isn’t the case at all. One parent describes her child with the condition as “the happiest person alive – full of smiles and energy.”
Number Seventeen: But They Aren’t Always Happy
Another common misconception is that these children are always happy. Just like any other child, affected children experience a range of emotions.
Number Sixteen: They Are Strong
Don’t treat affected children like they’re porcelain dolls. They’re strong, and they’re just as capable as any other child.
Number Fifteen: They Are Underestimated Too Often
Many people see a child with Down Syndrome and assume that they’re less than. In fact, many affected children have increased abilities in receptive language and sensitivity to others.
Number Fourteen: Down Syndrome Is on a Spectrum
Just like autism, Down Syndrome is on a spectrum. If you know one affected child, don’t assume that you know them all. Every child is different.
Number Thirteen: Children With Down Syndrome Are Incredibly Intuitive
One mother described her affected daughter as having “a way of sensing when people need a hug.” These children are highly sensitive individuals and pick up on things that most other people fail to notice.
Number Twelve: They Have Goals
Just because a child has Down Syndrome doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have life plans. Many affected children grow up to have successful careers and create meaningful relationships throughout their lives.
Number Eleven: The Parents Don’t Want Your Pity
Just like affected children don’t want to be treated any differently from “normal” children, parents of affected children don’t want to be treated any differently than parents of “normal” children. They don’t want extra attention just because their child isn’t like everybody else’s.
Number Ten: They Are Grateful
Parents of affected children don’t spend their time wishing their child didn’t have Down Syndrome. They embrace their child and love him or her just like they would love any other child. In fact, many parents are grateful to have an affected child, as they often feel like they learn more from them.
Number Nine: You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of It
It’s natural to fear what you don’t understand, but don’t let this stop you from warming up to a child with Down Syndrome. There’s nothing to be afraid of, and once you spend more time around affected children, you’ll understand them more as well.
Number Eight: The Children Are Individuals
Not every child with Down Syndrome is the same. As previously mentioned, the condition is on a spectrum, and so it presents in many different ways. Don’t assume something about a person because of a diagnosis.
Number Seven: They Are Successful
Many affected children grow up to have successful careers, including in Hollywood. These children pursue ambitious dreams as fervently as any other child, and they’re often successful.
Number Six: They Aren’t Defined by Their Condition
Many children with Down Syndrome are more normal than not – this is something most people don’t realize. Don’t define a child by a diagnosis – there are many more components of an affected child’s personality than the fact that he or she has Down Syndrome.
Number Five: They Need Time
It’s important to remember that affected children often require more patience. And just because they need more time doesn’t mean they’re less intelligent than other children who can complete the same tasks in less time.
Number Four: They Can Be Sassy
Just because they’re different doesn’t mean they have to be treated like they don’t have a sense of humor or never do anything wrong. Just like other children, affected children get into trouble, can be manipulative, and can be extremely feisty.
Number Three: Don’t Ever Tell a Parent You’re ‘Sorry’
The worst thing you can say to a parent of an affected child is that you’re “sorry.” The only thing you should be sorry for is that you had the gall to tell a loving parent that you’re “sorry” their child is a certain way.
Number Two: The Milestones Mean More Than You’ll Ever Realize
Because many children with Down Syndrome need more time, they subsequently tend to take a little more time to reach important milestones. Some people might view this as a setback, but in reality, it just makes the moments when you reach those milestones all the more exciting.
Number One: They’re Heroes
For many parents, their children are their heroes – this is especially true for children with Down Syndrome. These children are resilient, beautiful, courageous, intelligent, and kind human beings – everything a hero should be. Thanks for reading!