Over at “Welcome to Illinois” there is an excellent post about not putting too much emphasis on the diagnosis. I would like to add what I think is a very pertinent point.
Many times when our children with Down syndrome are young, we have moments of despair, worry, and wondering how much Down syndrome will affect our child. At times, when we see the difference between the child and his “normal” peers, it can lead to “low-feelings”. This is NORMAL. The important thing is to try not to stay immersed in negative “mud” for too long.
(Now, if you, reader, are a “Oh I just Love Down syndrome” and “Iwould never change my child in the least, I am sorry, but I was NOT there as a new parent. I loved my daughter, and choose to ignore the “risks”, but I was not jumping up and down with joy over the diagnosis….)
But my real point is this. As your child grows, he becomes so much more than a “child with Down syndrome”. The child’s personality, actions, and thoughts become so much more important. I won’t say that sometimes I don’t get exasperated with Ricki (as I do with my other children as well…). I won’t say that the occasional fleeting thought of “Gee, I wish to G-d that she didn’t have DS” doesn’t flash through my mind. It does.
But I am much more aware of:
- her playing “teacher” and reading to her “students” a book
- her hanging the laundry
- her insistence on doing a piece of too-hard homework because the teacher said it was homework
- her laughing at a joke
- her insistence that her brother not DARE to bring his dog to our home (she’s scared)
- her pleasure to discover a gift of jewelry
These things OH SO MUCH make her seem to be what she IS: a teenage girl!