As I have mentioned before (in reference to “would I cure her if I could?”), our teens change, and we continue to love them. (Even if they are, at times, a pain in the _______.) (Sorry!)
But I have terrible news for all you parents with cute little smiley kids with Down syndrome: they ALSO become teens. Really ornery, “I-hate-you-Mom” teens. Don’t think that they remain “little kids” forever. They don’t. They are NOT “perpetual children”. They are teens, and later, adults, with a limited intellect. And just as all teens strive for independence from their parents, and for respect as an adult, so do our growing teens with Down syndrome. But since they DO have an intellectual disability, that independence is harder to receive, and society as well treats them as children. This makes the fight much harder, that much more bitter, and therefore perhaps more rocky than with your average teen.
But the flip side is that a lot of things you may have been working on for ages suddenly “click”, and they really can learn to do an amazing amount of things. More than you ever dreamed when you were first told by the doctor that this precious child has Down syndrome.