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

Bullying; How To Be an Expert at Avoiding It

Given that this week is Anti-Bullying week, November 11th – 15th I thought I would write a post to help children avoid bullying from both sides; becoming a bully and being bullied.
I am a parent therefore I am no expert so this blog is purely my personal opinion only but after being bullied for a few years when I was younger I certainly have had the experience of it.
In addition having children, especially one with Down Syndrome, it is something I really do not want them to experience even though I often hear regularly “Children are just mean….. they all get bullied”
This shouldn’t be the norm and I feel as parents it is up to us to educate our children on this behaviour as change does start with us.

Who is a Bully?

A bully is defined as
‘a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable’
As a verb bullying is defined as
seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable)’

So generally this can be anyone in my eyes who is being nasty to someone else. Now whilst I get not everyone has to get on or like everyone, it doesn’t give any child or adult the right to intimidate or worse, harm another human being. Bullying doesn’t have to be physical, it can be vocal and not even in given face to face given that cyber bullying is on the rise.

How to Avoid being Identified as a Bully?

I would like to think it was quite simple not to become a bully but I do understand the pressures young children get today from peers, from wanting to be accepted to be part of the ‘right crowd’ however it does come back to us as parents to talk to our children daily. To explain and encourage positive behaviour,

Three Ways to Help Your Child Who Maybe Bullying Others

  • Talk to them to help them understand how much harm they are causing by bullying someone (many adults never forget these emotional scars and damage can truly affect someones life)
  • Talk to them to help them understand why they are actually bullying someone; is that the only way to know how to react to someone, are they angry at something else and if needs be speak to someone that can help them (a counselor)
  • Talk to them to understand the consequences involved in bullying others as it can often lead to expulsion and even arrest
    For further guidance check this guide out https://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Being-a-Bully

How to Avoid Bullying

After being bullied myself this is quite hard to write but I feel so important. Bullies tend to pick on those more vulnerable, those less confident and those who appear unsure. Now whilst words can help a child ‘Say No’ simply saying to your child ‘Stand up for Yourself’ may not help them as much as putting actions into practice that can support your child on a daily basis.

Five Ways You Can Help Your Child Avoid Being Bullied

  • Instill confidence into them daily
  • Consider self defence classes to protect themselves
  • Practice affirmations together
  • Encourage them to make friends and ask for support from their friends
  • Get them to tell someone in authority immediately

A link that may guide you further with online bullying
https://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Being-a-Victim-of-Bullying

I write this from a parents point of view and nothing else, not to patronise or sound condescending but I do believe that if we all choose to educate our children about the seriousness of bullying then it should start to reduce it. You could ask them to watch this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ6Yxh-44qY

Be A Friend Not A Bully

I do hope one of these resources might help you as a parent and whilst this is something completely different to what I write about usually, I am all for inclusion matters, every child matters, education for all, changing attitudes and raising awareness.
I’m curious were you bullied at school? If you would like to reach out to me privately then please get in touch here
https://pamelar8.sg-host.com/contact-me/

As always. thank you for reading and
Until Next Time
Sharon x

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The A-Z of Words that Parents Associate with a child with Down Syndrome

My blogging journey is all about educating people about Down Syndrome and I thought what an effective way of doing this was to create a simple A-Z to parents from parents who are raising a child with Down Syndrome. It is a collaboration with the help from other parents in our Facebook support group Wouldn’t Change A Thing (see attached). Together we devised this A-Z of words that we associate with having a child with Down Syndrome.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/801281006738525/

We hope you like and as they say

“Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start……”

Let’s start with the beginning of the alphabet
A – Ability; just because your child has Down Syndrome does not mean that they are not able. They may have alternative ways of speaking, of learning and at times to reach milestones but trust me – they do have the ability. Simply give them the space, the means and the encouragement
B – Be Yourself; this is not just for your child who I firmly believe will never have an issue with this concept but more for you, the parent. Acknowledge the syndrome and then when you can, forget about it. Be yourself with your emotions, with your expectations and with the outside world….just be you!
C – Chromosome; yes Down Syndrome simply means that your child has an extra chromosome on chromosome number 21. The End.
It does not define them as you will see, if you continue to read.
D – Determined; take a look at every day skills which are required to perform simple tasks. Now take on a learning difficulty, sometimes an additional disability, smaller limbs and do the same task.
Well your child will do it as they are more determined than ever.

Ellie trying archery

E – Education For All; many parents worry about mainstream and schools for children with additional needs. All children with Down Syndrome need educating. We are no longer in the 50’s and there is more than enough proof that mainstream is working. Look at what is being achieved today. Schools and councils need to stop worrying about budget cuts and concern themselves with education for all.
F – Fun; who doesn’t have fun with their children (well when they’re not shouting at them)? To all new parents, this will become part of your daily routine.
G – Genuine; this I personally love as my daughter Ellie just says it like it is. I have been told on more than one occasion that she is kissing the baby in my belly (yes you guessed it…I’m not pregnant!) and more recently hearing ‘No thank you mummy, I don’t want to move my plate right now’
H – Happy; it’s a biggy. NOOOOO children with Down Syndrome are not always happy. Ellie cries, screams and has moments as much as her brother Billy and I beg you to ask another parent ‘Is your child always happy?’ and watch their eyes role.

Ellie’s serious face

I – Inspiring; I understand that most parents feel inspired by their children but those children that have Down Syndrome do need to put a huge amount of effort in to simply get to the same milestones as their peers. This could be physically, mentally and more and because of this they inspire us parents each and every day.
J – Jokers; I am not joking (see what I did there) children with Down Syndrome have a wicked sense of humour and whilst Ellie can be very dry, to the point and lateral she really can make you laugh out loud.
K – Kindness; the type of kindness that children with Down Syndrome currently have comes from the heart rather than for a favour.
L – Love; all parents have unconditional love for their children. Parents with a child with Down Syndrome have that little extra and they do become their No.1 fans.

Girls Trip

M – Milestones; it is every parents dream when their child with Down Syndrome meets a milestone (whatever their age) because they have worked so damn hard to get there. I personally cried when Ellie first giggled which then resulted in her crying. We shrieked when she started walking (I think she was 2.5) but without any other complications they do all get there in the end and as they get older it does get less of a worry.
N – Never, Never Doubt or Underestimate; I have watched some amazing videos recently which has motivated me more with Ellie can achieve. Our children can and will always surprise you.
O – Own Agenda; Each child has their own agenda, their own journey and their own way of doing things. You will see children bottom shuffle to get to where they want to go. You will see children with Down Syndrome just find ways to get what they want and in their own time no matter how much you push and shove. Encourage but don’t force and watch the magic happen.
P – Perfect; children with Down Syndrome are perfect in their own unique way to their parents and family and they really wouldn’t change them for the world. When families stop seeing that label (it took me a while) the magic begins.

Perfection

Q – Quite Brilliant; do I need to say more or should I change that to Extra Quite Brilliant
R – Resilient; truth! Many parents of children with Down Syndrome say their children are resilient, tough, bounce back easy enough and have the capacity to keep on going. Not a bad quality to have in a child don’t you agree?
S – Superstar; trust me you will say this one day, your child is a superstar
T – Truthful; now this is a fabulous trait when those words are kind however it has been said on more than one occasion from Ellie that she is happy for the baby in my tummy.

Ellie fighting pneumonia

U – Unique; whilst facial characteristics are similar that is where it ends. Each child with Down Syndrome is unique in their own unique way; from character to both strengths and weaknesses and you will not be able to tell this from birth.
V – Victorious; each year as a parent you will feel victorious, trust me.
W – Wouldn’t Change A Thing; ask 90% or more of parents and they wouldn’t change a thing about their child. I now 100% believe Ellie is Ellie and she wouldn’t be Ellie without that extra choromosome.
X – Xtra ordinary; that xtra chromosome provides xtra cuteness, xtra potential and xtra stubbornness don’t you agree?

Ellie s unique

Y – You Can Do Anything; without any extra health or mental issues each child really can do anything. Stop limiting your beliefs, let your child shine and believe anything is possible.
Z – Zest; great enthusiasm and energy. Enough Said!

Do you agree with this A – Z, could you write your own; could these be said for any child? I would love to hear from you in the comments or contact me today. Thank you to all the parents of children with Down Syndrome whom contributed on this A-Z and as always, thank you for reading.

If you have enjoyed this blog and are looking to understand more about Down Syndrome, please read Myths and Stereotypes
https://pamelar8.sg-host.com/2019/05/08/challenging-some-myths-and-stereotypes-around-downs-syndrome/

Until Next Time
Sharon x

Inclusion in the High Street, does it exist?

Inclusion in the High Street,  does it exist?
In years gone by where many people with Down Syndrome have not been recognised for their attributes, their personality or their uniqueness; certainly not on social media and most definitely not on the high street with their advertising, pah!
But times are changing, albeit slowly, but they are changing. The high street are now starting to see individuals for who they are, individuals. They are beginning to be more inclusive as they ignore the label, the stigma of having a model with a difference and giving children and adults alike to be seen, to take centre stage just like their peers.

Why, Not Back Then?
As I was growing up, I do not recall ever meeting a person with a disability. I certainly did not know what Down Syndrome was. Had I led a sheltered life, I don’t believe so but maybe my eyes were closed? Why did the high street not use models with Down Syndrome to showcase their clothes and products? I don’t know the answer, there could have been a policy that discriminated against disability. Yet it seems more likely there were several other reasons as to why people with Down Syndrome were not considered, from the logistics, the unknown, to the fact that there not many models with Down Syndrome actually on any modelling agencies? Who knows?

Why Is It Important Today?
Quite simply, times really are changing, many are tired of seeing the same type of specific model advertise, you know the one, and the public have spoken, ‘We are not all the same shape and size and if you want to continue to get our money then we want to see more people like us – unique and individual’ (They might actually be my words but you get the drift). The high street listened and some started to offer advertising to a variety of models of size, shape, ethnicity and gender. The public started to see models just like themselves. This is so important for our future generations to understand that we are all different yet we all all can inspire others.

Here are some High Street Names & Businesses that are inclusive and have models with Down Syndrome on their portfolio

  • Very UK
  • Welshblood.org.uk
  •  M&S
  • Spanish Boutique
  • Little Betty’s Boutique
  • F&F
  • Rebecca Leigh Photography
  • Peekaboo
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Primark
  • Zebedee Management

Can you name anymore?
Inclusion in the high street does it exist, yes it’s getting there but as always more needs to be done. Thank you as always for reading and a huge thank you to the parents of the group  #wouldntchangeathing
(https://www.facebook.com/groups/801281006738525/)
for sharing these pictures below.

Until Next Time
Sharon x

Here is supermodel number 1
Here is supermodel number 2
Many supermodels

Dog Free Zones

I wondered how I was going to write this blog as it is something that is extremely personal to me and I’ll explain why as we go, but I didn’t want it to come across as controversial. In the end I decided to write from the heart and be open and honest. For the record this is just my opinion.

Why did I want to write about Dog Free Zones?
My daughter, who is now 10, for the last eight years has had a phobia of dogs. I don’t know how it happened but it did and has since got progressively worse, it has also been passed onto other animals over the years. I understand phobias are not pleasant for anyone but when you have a learning difficulty, as in Down Syndrome, calm rationality is not even an option.

Over the years I have seen Ellie have a melt down on more than one occasion. I have seen her shake from head to foot, scream the place down and cry in hysteria. It has not been pleasant to watch and has caused the family great concern. We live in a lovely area that has many fields, parks and pubs that are dog friendly so knew it was important to get a handle on this.

As time has gone on, depending on Ellie’s emotional needs some days she can actually stand still, stay calm and let a dog walk past her, some days she can run past dogs cheering herself on for being so brave, but there are still days that involve emotions which result from having a phobia.

So why am I writing this? 
I am writing this quite simply because Ellie is not the only child to have a phobia of dogs. Ellie does not have a phobia of dogs because she has Down Syndrome, many other children have this phobia too and I wanted to let all the dog owners out there understand what can be happening when you walk past with your dog and see a child screaming.

Actions and Considerations
First, please consider that a child is literally petrified of your dog, therefore saying “She won’t hurt, just pat it” and bringing your nice dog nearer to said child, doesn’t actually help. Please ensure your dog is on a lead if in a public place, I personally was told by the police that in all public spaces, all dogs must be kept on a lead and it is a criminal offence not do so. A good friend shared this link with me, which clearly states that in public spaces that have PSPO’s, a dog must be on a lead.

https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/public-spaces-protection-orders

Other actions to consider if you have a dog with you, is that if you are asked to put your dog on a lead because a child is frightened (just for a few minutes), please don’t ignore it. If a restaurant or park has a sign saying ‘No Dogs’ please don’t take your dog in there. My daughter has seen her brother get jumped by a dog, her brother be chased by a dog and a dog ran that ran that close to her one day, off a lead, that she pushed it away.

I understand this is a work in progress for our family and I know there is wider support out there such as The Dogs Trust but for now, please be considerate as we will too.

https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/sponsor/?msclkid=2e2f50c041721c28b5b80dd251230f51&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=SD%7CAudience%7CPB%7CExact&utm_term=dogs%20trust&utm_content=Brand%7CPure&gclid=CK-pq47OhOMCFY2bGwoderQAgQ&gclsrc=ds
Information relating to The Dogs Trust

If you are in the same situation as my family, here are some places that are dog free that you can attend and enjoy

  • Most beaches on the Isle of Wight (during the summer) are dog free
  • Most beaches in West Wales have summertime dog bans (eg Saundersfoot, Tenby)
  • RSPB Old Moor in Wath upon Dearne
  • Cleethorpes Beach is dog free between Good Friday and 30th September
  • Butlins
  • Haven Burnham on Sea
  • Fairthorne Manner in Botley Hampshire
  • Brockholes
  • Lytham St Anne’s beach in the summer
  • Lytham St Anne’s beach in the summer

I hope as always you have found this useful and I would love to hear from you if you have any coping mechanisms or know of any Dog Free Zones that I can add to my list.
Thank you as always for reading and if you would like to connect with me through any social media platforms please click on the button

Until Next Time
Sharon x

Self Care for a Carer

Self Care, what is that I hear you say? Well let’s talk about why self care is important and those little activities that you can incorporate into your every day life to take some time out from being a carer and should put a smile on your face.

Let’s start with what is self care? I have to admit, in my humble opinion, I believe self care has become a ‘buzz word’ of today that has been recently created but I still feel it is extremely important for survival as a human being, even more so as a parent and vital as a carer.

A definition of self care – the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.

Now, how important was that for you to hear, ‘improve one’s health.’ As a carer you have to spend a lot of time looking after someone else’s health and needs; either older or younger and in addition to your own health and more often than not your own family.

Don’t get to this

Why is self care important? You may have heard the phrase if you’re running on empty how can you help others’ and that really is the simplicity of it. You cannot complete your role as a carer from your sick bed. Therefore it is vital to stay as healthy as you can and understand when it is time to take a step back here is what one mum said recently about self care.

I got myself into this really negative place where I’d just feel guilty and shit, that I wasn’t doing enough all the time. I’d get stressed super quickly because I put myself under so much pressure, then shout, then feel more rubbish and so on.

So I consciously took a step back and really focused on all the stuff I do that’s great, or even just the stuff that’s OK, normal stuff! We do so much every day that takes physical and mental effort but I definitely only focused on all the stuff I thought I wasn’t doing x

Next let’s look at what activities can be classed as self care and whilst some of these activities might seem unusual even ordinary to you, they do work for a few parents that I know. Self care is vital and it needs doing regularly for both our health and our sanity. There were several categories that were considered ordinary to turn to from crocheting, to hitting the gym, to even enjoying the (occasional or daily) glass of wine. Reading was another important wind down whether done before bed or sat in the car whilst playing taxi service.

Other additional self care activities that some might not even consider activities were watching the TV, simply eating, getting a decent sleep, having a shower or even a warm cuppa. Some considered more extravagant self care activities from pamper massages, spa breaks to drinking champagne and even hitting the beach. Gardening, horse riding, singing and yes it was said ‘locking yourself in the bathroom’ (we have all been there!), were many of the activities chosen from carers, hopefully there will be one that will suit you too.

Whatever activities you do decide on, choose to do some daily, some weekly and some less often, but do them. These self care activities will help you, maybe slightly, help your health, reduce your stress as a carer and just maybe put a smile on your face.

 

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you have found some value in this. I would love to know if you leave a comment, what your favourite self care activity is or message me directly via any of the links @linktr.ee/shaz_crowley

Until Next Time
Sharon x

Those First Few Days to Help You with a Child who has Down Syndrome

Are you a first time parent to a child with Down Syndrome? You may have known about the diagnosis during your pregnancy or found out afterwards, like I did….either way I would strongly suggest turning off google, putting any leaflets away you’ve been given by the professionals and read on. This blog is for you and is not just written from my own personal experience but from shared parenting secrets to you from many that have been in your shoes.

Congratulations, you have a newborn! Now if like me this child is your first you’ve probably got ready or possibly even read the ‘parenting handbooks’. Put them away in a drawer for now, even if your newborn is not your first child; grab a brew and read these top tips that many parents of a child with Down Syndrome begin with

‘treat your child like you would any other child, through each and every stage. See past the diagnoses, love and discipline just as you would your oldest’

Ellie, days old

Enjoy your beautiful baby as that is what you have in front of you, a beautiful baby.
Stop worrying, stop reading and stop googling; take each day forward and when you’re ready to learn more; consider joining a supportive group such as
https://www.facebook.com/groups/801281006738525/?
to ask any questions you have from those that have lived through them.

Another main point that many parents agreed was to enjoy every minute, like everyone else your child will grow up just as quick. My daughter Ellie has just turned 10 and I feel like I’ve blinked. Additionally in those first few days and maybe even longer don’t refuse help; you may be emotional about having a newborn even without having a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, so don’t try and play super-parent and do everything, take help when offered. The storm of emotions you will be going through will pass and things will get easier, we all promise you that. Just breathe and hold your baby.

Be kind to yourself and one thing that personally worked for me was talking to my husband openly and honestly about how I was feeling. Emotions such as sadness, concerns, worrying too much about the future; you may even have health problems (Ellie has a hole in the heart) but don’t be scared and don’t look too far ahead. Cuddle and ‘squish’ your baby and enjoy the magical journey that you are on.

As your baby gets older day by day, don’t stress the small stuff, the milestones, the appointments; go to baby groups, the park and find other parents that will support you. Trust your parenting instinct always and remember your little bundle of joy will be as unique as everyone else so take those photos and videos and give yourself and your child time to get into your routine to begin your journey.

And finally,

‘look forward to the most enthralling, frustrating, beautiful, fulfilled, exciting, worrying, scary, proud, enriching and varied life journey you’ll be privileged to be on with your baby.

If reading this has helped you in anyway, please comment below or get in touch with me through any platform via @lintr.ee/shaz_crowley. Thank you to the parents of the above group #WCAT for helping me put this together and as always, thank you for reading.

Until Next Time
Sharon x


Carer's Allowance and Free Access

Are you a carer, do you know what you are entitled to as a carer? Not sure, then stay with me and read on. Hi I’m Sharon (if reading for the first time) and I am a carer to my daughter Ellie, who is 10 and has Down Syndrome.

A definition of carer in the UK is ‘anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support’ according to The Carer’s Trust.

As a carer you are entitled to Carers Allowance, which in the UK is £66.15 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits. There are other criteria and please refer to https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance for assistance.

After speaking to several mums I was curious as to whether this allowance was justified. I know it was needed for our family as it has become the income I lost giving up work, but at the back of my mind was always the thought, ‘why are we entitled to it’ and the next paragraph sums up why every carer is 100% entitled.

Many carers give up work, like myself, and this allowance subsidizes the family income. Some put the money towards travel for additional appointments, many use it for specific items that can help their child; sensory toys, private therapies, specialised clothing/equipment and a few put it towards their children’s future needs. So yes every carer should apply for that allowance.

So now you get the picture about the allowance, let’s talk free access. Now every young child generally can’t go to an attraction on their own, but most teenagers and young adults can however people with Down Syndrome may often need a carer for some supervision and with some help from this fabulous group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DLAchildrensDaysOut/
we have created a list of places where carers go free.
Please see attached as this will be updated

I would love to know if you have found this useful or if you could add to the list, please comment below and as always thanks for reading.

Until Next Time,
Sharon x

Challenging some Myths and Stereotypes around Down Syndrome

After having my daughter Ellie I was suddenly surrounded by a lot of outdated facts, myths and stereotypes of Down’s Syndrome; some made me laugh and many I chose to ignore. However 10 years later I have chosen to challenge those myths.
First let share my thoughts as a parent and to offer some education.
Please note everything written here is just my opinion, however many myths have been contributed by other parents.

So let’s begin with the most popular one; all people with Down’s Syndrome are always happy and loving. All I can say here folks is ask a parent! All our children have every emotion just like yours, they are angry, frustrated, cry, have tantrums and can be very annoying (sound familiar?)

Another stereo type that may have come from the medical profession or just an outdated view was when another mum was informed that her child would not come to much. Seriously??? Have you seen the actors, the dancers, the pianists, and not forgetting the legend Sarah Gordy who received a MBE in 2018. Ellie is currently in mainstream primary, can read, do mental maths, spell, and goes to drama with her friends. She has achieved her 100m swimming certificate and recently went on her first field trip with school, without us.

One myth I admit to worrying about when Ellie was born, was what would happen to her as she got older. Yes our children are no longer taken to care homes to be looked after but would she live with us forever. It’s been a lovely surprise to see so many young adults including the awesome Heidi who moved out at 20 to live the life she wants here’s a link to her page
https://www.facebook.com/Heidi-Crowter-Living-the-Dream-473919313091896/

Another common myth about babies with Down’s Syndrome is they simply cannot breastfeed. I admittedly tried only once with Ellie and didn’t pursue it but other mum’s have had no problems showing every child, as we should accept, is unique.

Age; the common stereotype that only older females have children with Down’s Syndrome. I personally was only 34 (I don’t consider that old, do you?) and statistics show there are more females under the age of 35 than older that have children with Down’s Syndrome. Down’s Syndrome is a chromosome abnormality and therefore has little to do with age.

Children with Down’s Syndrome stay babies for longer, have you heard this – many parents might feel like this when given the diagnosis due to stereotypes, but again ask a parent if you want the truth. I feel Ellie turned into a teenager when she was 7 with all the same fun attributes of moodiness, stubbornness and emotions that you would expect from those teenage years. Others have said the same. Many parents teach their children age appropriate behaviour to try to dispel this myth.

All people with Down’s Syndrome look the same. Yes many children have similar facial features (slanted eyes, small nose), a smaller stature and may need support with their gross, motor and oral skills; however each child is unique and will have similarities to their parents and siblings just as much.

So there you have it, some very common myths and stereotypes of Down’s Syndrome challenged. My last thought on this matter is terminology; a person is a person not a Down’s Syndrome person or a Down’s; a better way of saying something that is similar is ‘Here is Ellie, she has Down’s Syndrome’ – person first.

Thank you for reading and as always if you would like to connect, leave me a message or get in touch via the Contact Page
Do you think I’ve missed one out, comment below? Until next time,
Sharon x