Hello. I am a new mom who found out in the delivery that my daughter has down syndrome. The blood test confirmed it the following week. My beautiful daughter, Shelby, was born on October 18 of this year. She is my little "pumpkin". I call her that b/c she was supposed to be born on Halloween. I love her to peices and want to do everything I can to get her started on the right path to not let her disabilty become an issue inher life. I know that the developmental aspects of ds are not predictable and that you just have to "wait and see" but I want to prepare her for anything. What make sit worse is that she is my first child and so I don't even know how or when to begin anything with a baby without special needs let alone my dear Shelby. I was wondering if there was any advice out there for what I can do to help to prepare her. This is my first time talking to other parents of ds children. I don't know why it has taken me so long.
Hello, and congratulations on your beautiful "pumpkin". My wife and I just had our first child, Grace, in early October, so I know exactly where you're coming from. Let me preface all that follows: I'm no expert on Down children, but I have done a tremendous amount of research since Grace's birth, so I may be able to help point you in the right direction. I don't know what's available in your area, but here in California, we were referred to a program called "Early Start". The prevailing wisdom these days seems to be that early intervention (birth to three years) can help greatly with many of the developmental delays our children might otherwise encounter. If you haven't been referred by your doctor or hospital, it might take some legwork on your part to locate your local resources. You might try your county social services, local board of education, the internet (of course!), etc. From what I understand, it's important to intervene before developmental delays occur, rather than trying to play "catch-up" later down the road. Good luck, and remember to enjoy your daughter for who she is!
Hi, I have an 11 year old daughter with Down Syndrome and she was our first child also. It was overwhelming in the beginning. The previous post was right about finding what program is offered in your state for kids from birth to 3 years old who have developmental disabilities. In our state it is called First Steps. My daughter had a heart defect that had to be corrected at 5 months so she didn't have much therapy until afterwards. She then started speech, physical, occupational and developmental therapy. I think they were all beneficial but the big thing is to not overdo it and treat your baby just like you would if she didn't have Down Syndrome. We also got extra speech therapy above what the state provided when she got older. You will know what is right for your child and don't let anyone try to tell you different. Our daughter has taught us so much and I can't imagine life without her. Keep posting and ask any question you have. Congratulations!