21 Signs You Might Be the Parent of a Child With Down Syndrome

Raising any child can be a challenging, joyful and rewarding experience, but parenting a child with Down syndrome can involve its own unique quirks. The Mighty and Downs Designs Dreams*, an organization that designs clothing specifically for people with special needs, asked our readers on Facebook to complete this sentence: You might be the parent of a child with Down syndrome if ____.

Take a look at some of our favorite responses below for a glimpse into what it’s like to parent a child with Down syndrome, and add your own answers in the comment section at the bottom.

You might be the parent of a child with Down syndrome if…


1. “’Flexibility’ is your mantra.” — Kristin Thomas Cutlip

A quote from Kristin Thomas Cutlip that says, 'Flexibility’ is your mantra.]

2. “You know that baby steps are giant leaps.” — Sally Kennedy

3. “You understand a diagnosis is a direction, not a destination.” — Ali Hammons

4. “You smile… a lot!” — Kim Sztajer Parnis

A quote from Kim Sztajer Parnis that says, [You smile… a lot!]

5. “You’re used to every other kid charging to greet your kid with excitement when you enter a room.” — Team KC UpHearted

6. “Sloppy tongue kisses become the norm.” — Crystal DiPasquale

7. “You can see beyond outward appearances.” — Melissa King

8. “Your next big hug is minutes away.” — Liz Schwartz

A quote from Liz Schwartz that says, [Your next big hug is minutes away.]

9. “Your child’s therapists know more about your personal life than your shrink.” — Katherine Allison

10.“You have your priorities straight.” — Anna Powers

11. “Your child wants to hug everyone they see.” — Calvin Nelms

12. “Even the ‘naughty’ milestones are celebrated.” — Debora Miller

A quote from Debora Miller that says, [Even the 'naughty' milestones are celebrated.]

13. “You know what love is.” — Janilee Holmes

15. “Your child sleeps with their chin resting on their knee caps.” — Calvin Nelms

16. “A trip to the grocery store is like escorting the prom queen/king to the ball.” — Liz Schwartz

17. “Everyone in your town knows you by sight as the mom of the kid who shouts ‘hiya’ to everybody, and they ask you where he is and how he’s doing if they see you out on your own.” — Kerry-Ann Fender

A quote from Kerry-Ann Fender that says, [Everyone in your town knows you by sight as the mom of the kid who shouts 'hiya' to everybody.]

18. “You don’t treat [your child] any differently than any other child.” — Ann Reichelt

19. “Your 11-year-old still comes and crawls in your lap to snuggle every day.” — Patrice Bagwell

20. “You know how incredibly blessed you are because of [your child] and their diagnosis.” — Angela Palmer-Fisher

21. “Your child has taught you to see the world through the eyes of unconditional love.” — Nancy Dyer

A quote from Nancy Dyer that says, [Your child has taught you to see the world through the eyes of unconditional love.]

**Some answers have been edited and shortened.

*Downs Designs Dreams is the home of two exclusive clothing brands for people with special needs: Downs Designs and NBZ Jeans. Both brands offer stylish, high-quality jeans with elastic waists, soft stretchy denim and no button or zipper which facilitate independence. The organization is currently pending 501(c)3 nonprofit status and has recently launched its Adopt-A-Jean campaign where they donate a pair of our jeans every Friday

Related: Grandma’s Clothing Line for People With Down Syndrome Needs Your Help

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