Hi, I've asked for help before. My sister has been reading a lot of books, in one of them it said to explain to siblings(about DS) right away. Being Kayle (1 month old) will be with me 9 hours out of the day in a few short weeks, he will be very close to his cousins. My sister wants to tell my son 6 (first grade) and my Daughter 4 about DS and Kayle. Here's my question: What do you tell them? ( if you have a script that'd be perfect..) Is my 4 year old ready? how about my 2 year old? Any advice ( please be specific) is very appreciated.
I have found that when telling little kids about DS the best thing is to keep it very simple. I try explaining DS in terms like..... the baby is going to need some extra help with learning things. There is a great book called "we'll paint the octopus red" by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen. You should be able to find it at your local library. It is a great kids book and explains DS in kids terms.It also has a great Q&A section in the back that has great ways to answer questions. My biggest advice with this is to keep it simple and answer questions as they come up.I would say something like "Kayle was born with Down syndrome. That means that he will need a little extra help and patience with things." They will ususally take the lead and ask questions . I would answer them as hosnestly as you can in very simple terms. They are usually not ready for a big long winded explination.You are going to do great!
There are several good books you can read to children to help them understand Downs Syndrome. One of the things that I read many years ago when I was explaining to my boys about their sister, was that they need to understand that they will never be like this. They won't wake up one morning and need extra help because they have Downs. While this may seem clear to us, little minds think differently. So make sure you reassure them that this will not happen to them
I bought "Let paint the octupus red" and I shared it with my children. The girls loved the book, but more as a book than being personal. My son (6 years old) liked the book too, he was able to read it himself( I read it to him too) along with the questions and answeres in the back, he had more indepth questions. After a few weeks out of no where he said "Mom you know how Kayle has downs syndrome and that makes him special," I said Yes, "well, Mom I think all babies are special and need our understanding". Kayle is now 5 months and is doing really well, I know their may come a time when I'll have revisit detail with my kids about DS, but for now we are enjoying this perfect baby.