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
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
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
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
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
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
**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.