Monday April 14, 2014
Recently I was part of a great discussion between mothers about how to handle work when you have a child with Down syndrome. Lots of opinions and personal stories were brought to the table; we ended with a variety of different points of view. All of them are valid and realistic, as everyone's experiences are unique and based on their personal needs.
For many of these moms who are divorced or single, working after having their babies wasn't a choice but an immediate need. Some others don't depend 100% on their individual incomes, but they never gave up on the dream of pursuing their professional careers, and have found the way to balance both work and motherhood.
Tuesday April 8, 2014
The devastating news of learning that your child has Down syndrome is not just related concerns about his development or learning challenges. There are all the justifiable fears that come with learning about the medical risks associated with this extra chromosome. One of the more frightening ones is that children with Down syndrome have a 20% greater risk of developing leukemia, compared to typical children.
The signs may be confusing, as many children with Down syndrome have constant respiratory infections during their first months of life. This situation may distract doctors from looking for the signs of leukemia and cause parents to lose important time that's critical to dealing with and treating this disease. Here, parents who have lived with this experience offer their stories and insights for families who are unaware of the signs, or who have just started fighting the battle with their own child.
Monday April 7, 2014
Life doesn't stop when your child is diagnosed with Down syndrome. The paper confirming the existence of an extra chromosome is only the beginning of an unexpected journey. The challenges keep coming, and they are not always related to your child's condition, but can certainly affect your future as a family.
This week we want to share two inspirational stories of mothers of children with Down syndrome who faced their own diagnoses: both of them were diagnosed with cancer after their kids were born. Their stories of strength remind all of us that love is powerful and challenges make us grow and be grateful for life.
Tuesday April 1, 2014
As I always tell parents, no one can tell you how to feel when your child is diagnosed with Down syndrome or special needs of any kind. There is no "proper" or "ideal" reaction, and crying less or more than anybody else doesn't make you a better or worse parent. This situation is already confusing so just imagine how hard it may be for families who learn that their child may have a second diagnosis, Autism.
For years the dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and Autism has been ignored. Many times professionals think that behavioral and developmental challenges in some children with Down syndrome are simply related to their extra chromosome. Recently however, with the increase in the number of kids being diagnosed with Autism, a new reality has arrived. Now, the dual diagnosis of both conditions in some kids is being recognized by the medical and behavioral communities as Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Diagnosis, commonly referred to as DS-ASD.