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://t21hub.com/contact-me/

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

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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

Changing Attitudes

When you find your passion, the reason to get out of bed each morning, you will give it 100% focus and make plans and take continuous action. This is what I have found recently, as I became a little jaded with the path I was on so therefore I took some time out and now I am back to begin the next chapter of my work from home journey.

What has changed?
Let me introduce myself especially if this is the first time you are reading my blog. I’m Sharon, mum of two and full time carer to my daughter, Ellie who will be 10 next month. Ellie has Down’s Syndrome and my life changed direction when I gave birth to her. Not only did I become a new mum at 34, but I had a child with a disability and a disability until then that I had not heard of.
Fast forward ten years and I am now a work from home mum. I take both children to school, to their clubs and not missing Ellie’s appointments. After being in work full time since I was 16, becoming a full time housewife was not for me and as such an enjoyable journey working from home. Three and a half years of Network Marketing has helped me build a network of friends, business skills and a lot of social media tips but the passion for me wasn’t there in the end.

Meet Ellie & Billy

Which brings me right up to today. After a coaching call with @LeonaBurton from #mumsinbusinessassociation I was advised to journal daily and reflect on what I enjoy, what excited me, what I don’t enjoy too and with a tonne of personal development daily I chose to find ‘me’ again. I want to find something I can do that will help others, something that is inspiring to others and that brings me to sharing my version of ‘Changing Attitudes’, the inspiration derived from my children. I am now on a mission to help, with many others, change the attitudes towards people with Down’s Syndrome. In addition, help my daughter and others feel accepted, included and above all reach their full potential.

Do I know how, not yet? But isn’t that the exciting part? I’ve taken the first step and put this blog out there for you to read and I hope you will follow my journey as I plan to play big and share regular tips, ideas and inspirational stories from now on.

Thank you for reading, if you would like to connect with me, you can via linktr.ee/shaz_crowley and comment below if you know someone that has Down’s Syndrome.

Sharon x