Questions Parents Ask Themselves After Receiving A Down Syndrome Diagnosis

(Part One)

You may read this and wonder what a weird question! That’s ok but I thought it was important for other carers to be assured that any question they ask themselves after a diagnosis are all perfectly normal.
I collaborated with several parents in the Facebook community Wouldn’t Change A Thing Parent Support group to write this so please do read to see what questions often go through the mind of a mum when she is given a Down Syndrome diagnosis.

Social Questions

Will she get invited to parties?
Will she have friends?
Will he be bullied?
Will nursery have him?
Will she get married?
Will other children make fun of him?
Will she be beautiful/pretty?
Do I need to live until 100 to make sure they’re safe?
Will he be ostracised?
Will people understand him?
Will she look like me?
Will everyone love her?

Scary isn’t it, but most new parents do wonder about the community and how they will treat their child? I honestly feel that this can be overcome with more children with Down Syndrome being seen in the community with their friends. More knowledge passed on at nursery and schools to encourage friendships and more parents being aware of these concerns and maybe talking to their children about Down Syndrome.

Ellie with her school friends

Functionality Questions

Will she be able to ride a bike?
Will he be able to drive a car?
Will I be able to work?
Where will he go to school?
Will he be able to walk?
Can she fly abroad?
Will she talk?
What will happen when we are gone?
Will she be independent?

These questions can be answered by parents that have been there before and I feel it’s important to be part of your local community to meet other families. All of these have been achieved by children and adults with Down Syndrome so there is no reason why not. Your child may take longer and they may experience health issues or other complex conditions that could affect them from achieving SOME of these.
The only one that can not be answered is what will happen when we as parents are gone but by seeing adults with Down Syndrome living independently, working and getting married; the future is bright.

Check out Down Syndrome in the News

Family Questions

Will my family want to see her?
Will my son get picked on because of his sister?
How will the additional care impact her brother?
Will her brother become over protective and get into trouble?
Will this have an impact on her sister?
Can I still be a grandma?

Hard questions aren’t they as no-one knows how family will react when they know the news. What I would personally say to a new parent is try not to give these questions much thought. Yes you can still be a grandma, it isn’t impossible but by that time you might not want to be. To those that have family with children with Down Syndrome, did you want to see the new baby straight away, I would love to know.

By writing blogs like this, the aim is to help you understand a little more about Down Syndrome, the aim is to help new parents with the knowledge that generally, most new parents feel and act the same and whatever you are feeling, thinking it is ok. To everyone else in society please bear these questions in mind when a family, a friend tells you their news of their child’s diagnosis and help them with any questions, concerns they may have; be there for them and empower them with positivisism

As always thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon. If you have any questions at all about this blog or about Down Syndrome, please do not hesitate to comment below or message me

Until Next Time
Sharon x

Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs – The Review

After an amazing time at Winter Wonderland recently, I often get asked what is Center Parcs like as we have visited a few times now? Therefore I thought I would share my honest opinion and write a review.
Here is my review of Center Parcs, Whinfell forest’s Winter Wonderland.

First as stated, this is not the first time we, as a family have visited Winter Wonderland, this theme is usually available from month end November until December. Full details can be found on the website here

The Journey

Previously we went when the children were in a double buggy and as it was my husband’s birthday we thought we would give it another go. The journey from our location (Bury) is an easy one, straight up the M6 and it takes approx 1 hour 50 on a good run. The check in is always friendly with a map given in your welcome pack to guide you to your lodge. Initially if not been before it can be a little daunting as the park is a one way system, but driving through the grounds at a slow rate and following the signs will get you to your lodge . After driving to the lodge and unpacking, it’s time to dump the car in the car park ready to explore the rest of the weekend on foot or bikes as cars are not allowed.

The Lodge

The lodges themselves are ideal for us,as a family; we regularly choose a new style wooden lodge with 2 or 3 bedrooms and it’s all on one floor so no stairs for Ellie to worry about. If additional accessibility is required this can be arranged. Clean linen, comfy beds, wifi, and a log fire what more could you ask for? I often get asked about the price and yes it’s not the cheapest for a weekend away, but I honestly believe it’s worth it and that’s why we always come back.

The Wreath

The Activities

To help with the expense of the weekend, we often take up plenty of food and alcohol and it is rare we pay for any of the amazing activities as the free swimming paradise is enough. Slides, rapids, wave pool and food all available as well as free lockers in the swimming paradise. There is an option for plenty of cycling and walking in the natural landscapes and you will often see squirrels running past you. For the last few years we have used a bike carriage for Ellie to travel around and whilst she has now outgrown it I’ll keep you posted of what we use next.

Ellie’s carriage

Winter Wonderland

So let’s get to the point; the Winter Wonderland. Many of the forest areas are lit up with Christmas lights and decorations, each lodge has a holly wreath attached to the outside front door, Santa;s Woodland Village is available to visit with a festive atmosphere complete with snow machine to make it all the more magical.The walk through was fantastic for both photographs and creating memories. In addition to Woodland Village, every Sunday (weather depending) you get to see a truly awesome firework display ( which really is magical and moving.

Winter Wonderland – The Village

Would I go again, without a doubt?
Would I recommend, strongly?
Would I say this is one of the best Winter Wonderlands to visit; damn right?It has fun, family and festivities; the staff are friendly and favourable and the place is just fascinating and a favourite.

I would love to know have you been? Has this review helped in anyway? Please do leave a comment and share. If you would like to see other places recommended this year, check out our summer holiday in Greece

Until Next Time
Sharon x

Disney Character; who is Ellie's favourite?

When Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse, little did he know what a Disney Empire he would be creating and who would have thought it would capture the hearts of so many children years after. The first Monday of every December is International Walt Disney Day and to celebrate I thought I would talk about who is Ellie’s favourite Disney character and see if you can guess.

Describing the Character
First and what will become blindingly obvious is that this Disney character is female and a major player in a Disney film. The film itself was a huge box office success in 2013. The soundtrack to the film featured 10 original songs and one song in particular won an Academy Award, Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award. Are you close? This female in my opinion, leads the film and is both strong, sexy and sassy,
In addition she is quite different to other Disney Princesses that you may have seen in previous films. For me, she steps all over the stereotype of what a princess should and shouldn’t do and anything that steps away from the stereotypes I share.

Guessed Yet?
If not, here are some other clues; this Disney Princess has a sister and lives in Arendelle!
Yes, that’s right it’s Elsa; Princess Elsa.

Disney Princess Elsa

Now that we know which female Disney Princess we are discussing to celebrate Walt Disney Day, why does Ellie choose her as her favourite?
I personally found Elsa’s character in the film very strong and determined. The film itself (incase you haven’t actually seen it) begins with Elsa’s powers, which is freezing items and she struggles to control them. Due to an unfortunate accident where she hurts her sister, Elsa chooses to avoid her for the rest of her life, even if this means isolation for herself.

During the film and due to a turn of events, Elsa chooses, as a strong independent woman to live alone for fear of hurting others. During this phase of a life alone the Disney Princess has internal struggles believing she cannot be her true self. The change in character throughout the film is inspiring to watch; from a frightened child, to a runaway teenager into a fierce woman as she takes on many men in the bid to not be imprisoned.As you can read the film shows an evolving character who has many emotions, which can all be identified as a child; self belief, loneliness, being afraid.

Whilst adoring the amazing power of Elsa’s character through her transformation, her freezing powers cannot go unnoticed to another strong Disney character; a Disney Queen that could also freeze people; The Snow Queen. It is this film in which the Frozen film was built upon. However whilst Elsa’s freezing powers could and do hurt people they can also do good, once controlled as you will find out as you watch the film

What is a Princess Stereotype?
Many Princesses in Disney fall in love with a man and live happily ever after; whilst Frozen did have a happy ending it wasn’t from a love interest as Elsa had none. She didn’t need one! Elsa’s character literally carried the film with another strong female, her sister Anna. Therefore both Elsa and Anna have become amazing role models for girls globally; girls you can be free, girls you can be yourself and girls you don’t need a love interest to be considered successful and strong.

Since Elsa’s character was that of a strong woman and with the unforgettable soundtrack of the film, Frozen has become a firm favourite in our house; even more so that for my daughter Ellie. Frozen was the first full film that has kept her attention and enjoyment and as Ellie has Down Syndrome, usually 20 minutes is enough for her and that memory of her watching the film is one I’ll never forget.

In addition to the film’s soundtrack and storyline, Princess Elsa is Ellie’s favourite Disney character becasue she doesn’t fit the stereotype; she is her unique self

Ellie and Olaf

Thank you, as always for taking the time to read. Is Princess Elsa your childs favourite Disney character too, do let me know?
If you would like to follow Ellie’s journey, follow her here
or you can see what Ellie thought of her recent make over here

Until Next Time
Sharon x
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