Down Syndrome Community
Do Not Be Afraid
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This forum is for questions and support regarding Down Syndrome issues such as Dental Problems, Communication Problems, Developmental Disabilities, Hearing Loss, Hypothyroidism, Immune System Problems, Learning Disabilities, Joint Problems, Muscle Weakness, Respiratory Disorders, Seizures, Sleep Apnea, Weight Problems.

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Do Not Be Afraid

I was 40 years old when I had my son Chris, he is a Downs, the amniocentesis was not used then to determine these abnormalities. I have asked myself many times since, what I would have done if I had been tested and found out early enough to make us decide whether to abort or not.  I am not against abortion, but I am so thankful I was never given that choice. Chris has been a challenge at times and a very loving part of our family. It molded my other 4 children into caring adults, my oldest child, a daughter , now works in the field that I chose after he was born.  I am a retired RN and I went back to college when Chris was 2 to learn how to better help him, with my degree I went to work for the State in the field of People with Disabilities. After working 20 years with this special population I found out that these are indeed very special people. All a person has to do is attend the Special Olympics games to see how they overcome their short comings and participate in the events. To those of you that fear having a Downs son or daughter I say,  I thank God every day for sending him to me.  At 37 Chris is very independent,  enjoys trying new things, meeting new people, we travel alot now that I am fully retired. A friend of mine that has an Autistic son likes to say "They are more like us, than different"  Chris surprises me daily with his knowledge, he like my other kids, is learning all the time.  Do Not Be Afraid  a Downs child is a treasure.
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YES IT IS, CHILDREN WITH DS DO CONSUME ALOT OF UR TIME. I HAVE A LITTLE SISTER WHOM I'M GREATFUL I HAVE HER IN MY LIFE.BUT WHOM I ALSO FEEL VERY SORRY FOR,AS MY MOM IS OBESE AND I DON'T THINK MY MOM WILL LIVE TO SEE HER GROW UP.I HAVE NO NEICES OR NEPHEWS BECAUSE MY MOM RELIES ON MY 22 YR OLD SISTER TO TAKE CARE OF OUR 5 YR OLD SIS.AND I'M AFRAID THAT I WILL NEVER SEE THAT DAY.
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My son required no more time than any of my other 4 children.  if you need help with your sister, there are many agencies that help and care. contact the ARC in your area or state, tell them just what you told me and they will direct you to the proper people to help with your sister. If your sister is 5, then she needs to be in special education, we have laws now that protect that right. Many others before you have fought for the rights of people with disabilities and have won those rights.  I do not feel sorry for my son, never have,  he is an individual just like you and me, offer those opportunities for her to grow and learn and you will find out how great it is to have a sister even thought she has Downs.
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I am currently a stay at home mom (until my youngest goes off to kindergarten) but before I had kids, I was a special ed teacher for 8 years (TMH and Deaf). I came to this forum to see if I had any information that might be helpful to someone. After reading some of your posts I just want to say that you are doing a great service! So on target with your advice.  I appreciate you.

Background:
I worked for a public self-contained TMH school.  We believe that the goal for all of our students is for them to be as independent as possible. I have mobility trained many students (teaching them to use public transportation) to get to/from school and work. I have taught them how to cook, purchase groceries, make bank transactions, etc. Because our kids function in the severe range many of the parents had never dreamed that their son/daughter could be so independent.  So rewarding!  Can you tell I miss it. (heh)  
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