Congratulations on the birth of your new baby!
We hope you find the following letter helpful and informative.
The doctors have told you by now that your new baby has Down Syndrome. Hopefully, they have also given you some basic information about what that will mean to you, your baby, and your family. We, the Delaware County Down Syndrome Interest Group (DCDSIG), hope the information presented on this page will be helpful as you begin the adventure of raising your child.
The feelings that you are having right now are probably intense; we can assure you that you will not always feel as you are feeling now. Yes, life will never again be as it was. Your baby will bring you so many smiles that you will wonder at your early tears. The many happy moments you share will help you forget the depth of your present feelings.
It is hard to be told that your beautiful child has Down Syndrome; and there will be days of incredible sadness, of agonizing decisions, and endless worry. But, there will also be laughter, joy and thousands of little triumphs that will make the difficult times worthwhile.
Many families have stated that talking to parents of children with Down Syndrome has been the most helpful action they have taken. Parents understand feelings, and can answer questions better then anyone else–they have already walked the path that you are just starting. If you are interested in talking to someone please call (610)-544-4025, and we will connect you with another parent.
Savor these first weeks of babyhood; hold and cuddle and get to know this unique little human being. And remember, that first and foremost, this child will need what every other child needs–to be loved, accepted, and valued for being who he or she is.
Most importantly, we are here to speak with you, share our experiences, and have you meet our children. We would be happy to speak with you now or whenever you are ready. We may be strangers at first, but the common link we have is our love for our children. Our support group meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM at the Hancock United Methodist Church on Route 320 in Springfield. We would love to see you there when you are ready.
We wish you the best!
The Creed of Children with Down Syndrome
Below is an inspiring poem, penned by an unknown author, that eloquently describes a life long struggle for children with Down Syndrome.
“My face may be different
But my feelings the same.
I laugh and I cry
And I take pride in my gains.
I was sent here among you
To teach you to love
As God in the heavens
Looks down from above.
To Him I'm no different
His love knows no bounds,
It's those here among you
In cities and towns
That judge me by standards
That man has imparted,
But this family I've chosen
Will help me get started.
For I'm one of the children
So special and few
That came here to learn
The same lessons as you:
That love is acceptance
It must come from the heart,
We all have the same purpose
Though not the same start.
The Lord gave me life
To live and embrace
And I'll do it as you do
But at my own pace.”
- Author Unkown
About Down Syndrome...
A person with Trisomy 21, commonly known as Down Syndrome, has one extra chromosome in each of the child’s millions of cells. Instead of 46 chromosomes, he/she has 47. Down Syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition, occurring in 1 out of every 691 births. There are more than 400,000 people living with Down Syndrome in the United States. Down Syndrome occurs in all races, ethnic groups, and socio-economic classes. It can happen to anyone!
Because chromosomes and the genetic material they carry play a large part in determining the child’s characteristics, this extra chromosome will effect the child’s life. His/her appearance may be a bit different from other children, he or she may have some unique medical problems and he/she will likely have some degree of cognitive impairment. The severity of any of these problems
vary tremendously from child to child. Each child with Down Syndrome is unique with his/her own personality, talents and thoughts. There are few absolutes governing the baby’s destiny; like other children, the child is an individual and will grow to become a distinct personality.
• Accept the child or adult for who they are.
• Be a friend.
• Talk to the person as you would any other person.
• Let them try to do their best.
• Don’t feel sorry for them.
• Be patient if they mess up, everyone is human.
• And finally, friends don’t count chromosomes!
- National Down Syndrome Congress
- National Down Syndrome Society
- Trisomy 21 Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group
- Bucks County Down Syndrome Interest Group
- Rock for CHOP
- The ARC of Pennsylvania
- CONNECT Information Services for Early Intervention
- HELPLINE: 800-682-7288
- Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
- Education Law Center
- Hispanic United For Exceptional Children, Inc.
- The Institute on Disabilities/UAP
- Office For Dispute Resolution
- Parent Education Network-Pen
- Parent Information Center of Delaware
- Parent To Parent of Pennsylvania
- Parents Involved Network
- Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership Center
- Pennsylvania BAR Association
- Pennsylvania Education for All Coalition, Inc (PEAC)
- Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT)
- Pennsylvania Parents and Caregivers Resource Netwrok (PPCRN)
- Pennsylvania Speech, Language, and Hearing Association
- Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PATTAN)
- Kids Together Inc
- Inclusion Press
- Inclusion Video Series
- Layered Curriculum (Dr. Kathie Nunley)
- New Horizons for Learning
Sports and Activity Related
- Special Olympics of Delaware County