The People Who Encouraged Me Most After My Son's Down Syndrome Diagnosis

In my experience, when your child ends up having Down syndrome, people often have some thoughts to share with you. Some people say misguided things like, “I’m sorry.” Some well-intentioned people say interesting things such as, “Your baby will be like the angels.” And then there are those who have no idea what to say at all.

We’ve heard a lot of different things from a lot of different people. While some of those things have been less than helpful, some of them have been very beneficial and encouraging. It’s not surprising that some of the most helpful comments I have heard came from the parents of children with Down syndrome. I’d like to share some of that wisdom with you.

While everyone’s experience is different, these statements have been so very uplifting to me. I hope they encourage you as well.*

“Take the words ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’ out of your vocabulary, and never set limitations on what your child will achieve no matter the age.” – April Naretto, William’s mom.

“Life with Victoria has been an unexpected journey with unimaginable blessings!” – Heather Messick, Victoria’s mom.

“Set your expectations high; you’ll be amazed at what your child is capable of doing.” – Hilary Case Bordelon, Morgan’s mom.

“If you think you had a joyous life before this child, just wait. He will bring joy in your life on a whole new level that you never knew existed.” – Amanda, Eli’s mom.

“You got the Rolls-Royce of children.”

“We always focus and choose to celebrate what our child can do because Stasyia can do so much!” – Cori-Anne Richardson, Stasyia’s mom.

“He will be the heart of your family.” – Jim Robinson, Helen’s dad

When we found out about Jude having Down syndrome, we were asked if we wanted to continue with the pregnancy. Such a question would never have been asked if he were a typical baby. I believe the fact that the question gets asked demonstrates that many people still have a negative view about children with special needs. That makes me very sad.

If you just found out your child has an extra chromosome, or that he or she will have a life that’s a little different from his or her peers, please be encouraged by the words of these parents. I will never forget the day I was told that Jude will be the heart of my family. I thank God for the dad who said that to me.

He made me excited for the journey of finding out exactly what he meant.

*These statements came at various times, some in person and some through correspondence. I did not have a notebook on hand to write some of them down as soon as they were said, so they have been included here based upon my memory. Some of the statements came unsolicited, while others came at my request.

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