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What Your Child With Down Syndrome Might Do

There are no guarantees in life. Having a great love, following a true passion, having a child… it’s all a gamble. You won’t always take the most worn and traveled path as you create your own life story, and that’s OK. My son Parker has Down syndrome, and he is 2 years old. In his short life, he has inspired many people to do many things, and created some beautiful memories for our whole family. It can be a scary place, the first moments (and days and years) after your child with Down syndrome enters the world. I can’t tell you it will be easy. And I can’t gloss over the medical issues that can come with a child with additional needs – after all, he was on oxygen until he was a toddler and I’m grateful he no longer needs it. But maybe I can show you a little of what else you have in store… the potential of what could be.

Here’s what your child might do.

Small child smelling a plastic flower

He might show you how to stop and smell the flowers.

Baby breastfeeding

He might breastfeed until he is 16 months old.

baby with Down syndrome modeling a bib

He might become a model.

Boy with Down syndrome playing with tissues

He might use all your tissues.

boy with deliveryman

He might make best friends with all the delivery men.

Marathon runner

He might inspire someone to run a marathon for him on the other side of the world, in America.

marathon runner 2

Or even in Europe.

Parker and his sister

He might be the best thing that ever happened to his big sister or brother. “Mom, if I didn’t have him, I just… I don’t even.”

Parker at Christmas

He might get into the presents before Christmas morning.


He might be really good at yoga.

Parker loves taos

He might really, really love Taco Tuesday.

Parker grins at the camera

Or love a bit of cheese in general.

Parker standing at 9 months old

Instead of adhering to low expectations, he might set his own pace through life, like every other child.

Parker Myles and Mom

He might have a much bigger personality and more opinions than you ever anticipated.

Parker hugging his mom

Your child might wake in the morning, and reach for you. And while you lay there wearing his little arms, the most precious of jewels around your neck, you might decide this child is the best thing that ever happened to you.

A version of this story first appeared on Katrina’s blog, Parker Myles.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? 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.