To the Grandparents Who Are Sad and Confused About a Down Syndrome Diagnosis

To the grandparents who just received a Down syndrome diagnosis for their grandchild,

You’re not alone; other grandparents have been sad and confused by this news. Your grieving might be twofold; you’re heartbroken for both your grandchild and your child. This might not be something you wanted for either one of them… but you must keep in mind: this is a different Down syndrome and not the Down syndrome you might think you know.

This is not the Down syndrome from the days when a child was recommended to be institutionalized. This is not the Down syndrome where the life expectancy of a child was 25. This is a Down syndrome where therapies are available. People with Down syndrome now go college and hold jobs. People with Down syndrome can live independently and get married, and are expected to live well into their 60s.

If you’re reading this on the Internet, you have the capability to do your own research. There are many organizations such as the National Down Syndrome Congress and National Down Syndrome Society that can give you up-to-date information.

Support your own child with whatever path he or she takes on this journey. Have confidence your child will do his or her best. This grandchild will be one of your most amazing gifts in life.

little girl with bow in her hair

Follow this journey on Three With a Twist.

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Down Syndrome

How a Game of Catch With a Boy With Down Syndrome Changed This NFL Player's Life

NFL player Brandon McManus spent a day in November of 2014 playing catch with an 11-year-old boy with Down syndrome, and it changed his life. Inspired, the Super Bowl champ has now founded an organization to tackle bullying. Home video shows 11-year-old Ryder Braden playing ball with McManus, the kicker for the Denver Broncos. Ryder was [...]
woman standing behind boy in backyard

The Question My Cousin With Down Syndrome Asked When He Caught Me in a 'Funk'

I remember the day I met you. You were a baby, and my 5-year-old self was intrigued by how small the palms of your hands were and how your eyes wandered to each of us. I always wondered what was going on in your head. I know for sure your baby self wasn’t thinking about [...]

What I Wish the Genetic Counselor Had Told Us About Down Syndrome

It was 8:30 on a Monday morning when my partner Keston and I got a call that would forever change our lives. The doctor got straight to the point. “The baby has Trisomy 21,” he said. He was talking about the baby I was carrying as a surrogate. “Positive for Down syndrome?” I asked. “Yes.” [...]

When a Commenter Said Kids With Down Syndrome Don’t Look Like Their Parents

I recently read a comment on a photo of a child who had Down syndrome. The comment read, “You don’t look like Down syndrome. You look like your momma and poppa.” That comment shot me in my heart. It went on to say, “I used to feel sorry for parents who have children with Down syndrome [...]