Thursday, October 27, 2016

Surprises and Challenges

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month and I have asked my friends to ask any questions they may have about Down syndrome and I am attempting to answer them all.  I have been asked what surprised me the most and the biggest challenge is raising a child with Down syndrome.
The biggest surprise is the number of appointments that are involved in raising this little fellow.  He currently has 11 appointments a month for therapy (speech, occupational, physical, developmental and the coordinator).  They are all helpful and needed.  This does not include medical appointments.  I recently filled out an application for Asher's preschool.  I needed to list his physicians.  There were 5 blanks.  He has 6 physicians.  He is relatively healthy, he has a few minor medical problems, but somehow has 6 physicians.  All this is surprising and challenging.  It makes me very thankful that I am able to work part-time because I am not sure how I could manage all this and work full-time.
The other thing that surprises me is how people with Down syndrome are so often underestimated.  I did this myself prior to meeting Asher.  People with Down syndrome have achieved great things.  
Hands down, the biggest challenge is seeing a friend lose a child with Down syndrome.  The community is small and close.  You are instantly bonded with someone when you have Down syndrome in common.  When a family in your community loses their child, it is heart wrenching.  I cannot imagine how hard it is for them.  This has happened in my local community twice in the past 6 months.  There is nothing I can say that can make things better.  I can only pray for them when I think of them, which is often.
In loving memory of Baby L and Baby J.

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