Unless you are surrounded by the world of Down syndrome on a daily basis, you might not realize the myths and truths involved of children with special needs.
Since October is Down Syndrome Awareness month, I wanted to share a few myths and tell you how the truths relate to my little Molly and our family.
MYTH: Children with Down syndrome are born to older parents.
TRUTH: Most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years old simply because younger women have more children. In fact, I was 31 years old when Molly was born with Down syndrome. I had a one in 841 chance of having a child with Down syndrome.
MYTH: People with Down syndrome are always happy.
TRUTH: Molly has feelings just like any other child. Sure, she’s happy a lot…but wow, she has a temper and the typical “terrible twos”. She usually wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, she gets that from me.
MYTH: Children with Down syndrome must be placed in segregated special education programs.
TRUTH: Molly is in a typical preschool this year surrounded by “typical” children and she loves it! In fact, just last week her teacher told me that in her eyes – Molly was just like any other child in the classroom.
MYTH: Parents will not find community support in bringing up their child with Down syndrome.
TRUTH: Here in Northeast Florida, we have the extremely active Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville. There are monthly playgroups, online support groups and even a Dad’s group that meets monthly. Check out the National Down Syndrome Society to see if your community has a group.
Do you have questions about Down syndrome? I’m clearly not an expert, but I’d love to chat if you have questions!