Thursday, October 09, 2008

For Parents with a New Ds Diagnosis

"People with Down syndrome, like everyone else, are people first, each with their own unique gifts to contribute to their families, friends and communities."

-NDSS Chief Operating Officer Jon Colman

If you have received a new Down syndrome are probably looking for some basic information and a good, strong dose of hope right about now.

Know that you are not alone, and that Down syndrome itself isn't as scary and overwhelming as it may at first seem.

Not long ago, you might not have found much encouraging information about Down syndrome. Parents, family members and others who have experience with Ds, though, will often talk about the many rewards of a life including a family member, friend, or neighbor with Down syndrome.

Advancements in education, research and advocacy have had a tremendous impact on the opportunities that individuals with Down syndrome have to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Today, many people with Down syndrome:

  • Attend neighborhood schools and learn in typical classes alongside their peers without disabilities.
  • Graduate from high school and go to college.
  • Comprise a vibrant part of the American workforce.
  • Actively participate in the social and recreational aspects of their communities.
  • Live independently, make their own choices, and advocate for their rights.

While some people will make assumptions and predictions about what children with Down syndrome are capable of accomplishing or how they might be limited in life, it is impossible to predict the future for any child in terms of health, achievement or ability.

All children deserve and need love, attention, guidance and nurturing. All children benefit from a loving, accepting, encouraging, stimulating and positive home environment.

There's no telling what our children will accomplish, and what they will be happy doing. With our guidance, attention and love, the world is full of possibility--for them, and for us.

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