The Future for My Son With Down Syndrome Is Full of Possibilities

A few days after our youngest son was born, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome. I did not handle his diagnosis well. I grieved the life I imagined for him and for us. I went through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Then it felt like “rinse and repeat” through those emotions. It felt like a never ending cycle.

Eventually I asked myself, “Why is it when I imagine the future for my oldest son I look at all the possibilities, yet I don’t do that for my son with Down syndrome? Instead I fear what the future may hold for him? Is there any guarantee my oldest will be a healthy, happy, contributing member of society?” The answer to my last question was, of course not.

I assumed the best when I thought about my oldest’s future and worried and assumed the worst when I thought about my youngest’s future.

Worrying about one and not the other suddenly seemed pointless and unhelpful to me.

Both my children will lead different lives. They will each have different strengths and different challenges.

That one simple tweak to my assumptions broke the cycle I was on. It wasn’t that I stayed in “acceptance” mode. I simply realized there was nothing for me to grieve. The future for my son with Down syndrome is full of possibilities, just like his brother.

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