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This Picture Speaks a Thousand Words About Raising a Child With Down Syndrome

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I haven’t written in a while, but this photo inspired me to do so. At this point, you may be thinking I’ve completely lost the plot, but bear with me.

This photo tells you everything you need to know about being on the amazing journey of a parent of a child with Down syndrome. It represents more than words could ever show.

1. Be flexible.

Before becoming a parent, you may have thought you had it all mapped out. How you would approach certain situations, at what point you would start weaning, or childcare, or potty training. As a parent of a child with additional needs, your plans may have changed, but that’s OK. Like a chameleon, we must adapt to our surroundings in order to protect ourselves. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re having to move the goalposts a little bit.

2. Bend, but don’t break.

Sometimes it’s hard! The appointments, the interventions, needlessly comparing yourself with other parents when you know you shouldn’t. It takes its toll. Sometimes it’s OK not to be OK, but never let it break you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on!

3. There’s joy in the simplest of things.

He’s rolling in dirt and throwing his leg in the air, but you can see from his face it’s the best thing ever! Celebrate the small things and the mini-milestones and share them with the world. Be proud of every moment.

4. Just be you.

If there’s one thing both this photo and my son have taught me, it’s to just be yourself! Be true to who you are. Smile when you’re happy, cry when you’re sad and remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Originally published: March 11, 2019
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