Sunday, March 21, 2010

celebrating down syndrome

today is world down syndrome awareness day.
i often tell you stories of our life with down syndrome.
so today, instead of the usual, i want to give you all a piece of advice.

speaking first hand, as a mother of a child with down syndrome, i want to give you advice on how to react or respond to someone who just had a baby diagnosed with ds.

first thing, and probably most importantly, do not say, "i'm so sorry."
instead say, "congratulations!"

do not say, "i think God gave you this child because He knew you could handle it."
instead say "what a wonderful gift God has given you!" or "i think this baby is a beautiful addition to your family!"

do not say, "how severe is he/she?"
instead ask, "does he/she have any complications?"

do not say, "i can't imagine how hard this must be for you."
instead say, "hey, i know this isn't what you imagined, but i couldn't imagine a more perfect baby."

do not ignore your friend.
do not think that they need time to deal with things.
yes they do. but they are also drowning in sorrow.
and they need people and smiles and prayer and love and FOOD.

talk to them. be honest and heartfelt and comforting.
tell them that you know a child with ds and he is awesome.

show them ben's picture.

give them the link to our blog.
or bridget's blog.
or bennett's blog.
or colin's blog.
or nella's blog.

show them other people living a life with down syndrome and how NORMAL it is.
because it is.

we are all imperfect.
with or without a diagnosis.

so there you have it. thoughts, comments, complaints?
thanks for listening.
oh--and happy down syndrome day!
go hug someone you know with ds! :)


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post!

Kelli said...

Amy...that was such a great post!! It was perfect and I loved it...

Kristina said...

Thank you for sharing your comments with us. For those of us that haven't experienced the blessing of a child with down syndrome first helps to know these things! If only we judged ourselves as harsh as we judge others! Love it!!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. Thank you for the alternate questions/comments.