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The Joy in the Journey of Raising a Child With Down Syndrome

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There are a lot of things medical professionals tell you that they believe your child with Down syndrome won’t do. They never seem to tell you what your child can do and will do.

They don’t tell you that your 4-year-old will make a salad. That she will make her breakfast every morning and master and ride a scooter so fast you cannot keep up with her. They don’t tell you that she will write her name at 4 years old. She will know her alphabet and numbers and shapes and days of the week (in order). They especially do not tell you that your child with Down syndrome can and will defy expectations.

They won’t tell you about her heart — how she hurts when others hurt and she has this innate form of empathy that is so rare in this world. They won’t tell you that despite all your child with Down syndrome will endure medically, she will still say “thank you doctor” through tears after a painful procedure. They don’t tell you about the hugs and the blown kisses and high fives and fist pumps that are so easily and readily given to those that cross her path. They only focus on the negative — the things they believe she won’t do and the hard life that awaits us.

If only they could see what I see. If only they could see past her diagnosis and challenges. Because I’m here to show the world just how beautiful Down syndrome is. Even with its challenges and sometimes heartbreak, there is also joy. There is so much joy in the journey. And what a beautiful journey it is.

Originally published: April 6, 2021
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