Help me help my friend having a child with DOWN SYNDROME.

India
August 11, 2007 11:47am CST
One of my friends have a 9 months old girl child who has been diagnosed to have DOwn Syndrome . This syndrome have no treatment . The child is going to be retarded all along her life . With weaker and stiff limbs and too IQ she is going to be a life long burden to her parents . I studied all about it after hearing from my friend , father of the child , over internet . I was horrified . Neither he nor his wife is aware of the future of the child , the fate of a child with this condition . Now my predicament is -should I let them know all about it . My conscience say I should . Because it requires mental preparedness on the part of the parents .But i am still indecisive . What is your suggestions ?
1 person likes this
9 responses
@lburns70 (182)
• United States
11 Aug 07
As a Social Worker for group homes providing services to people with mental retardation I would suggest that they obtain all the information they can get. Also depending on where they live, there are services to help them. Knowledge is very important. Yes they have a life long committment but they also have a bundle of joy to love and cherish forever. If you have any questions fel free to ask me and I will help anyway that I can.
1 person likes this
11 Aug 07
I think the best thing you can do is just to try and support them and not be the bearer of this kind of news, as at 9 months, no one is able to diagnose her condition to such an extent that her parents are going to go through complete hardship. I have worked with Downs children and they are so loveable and are not retarded. Where there is early intervention, these kids go on to use sign language or develop good speech, they are an active part of the community. I realise you have your friends best interests at heart, but be very cautious when telling them things about their childs condition. They need to find this out for themselves through the doctors or a support group where they can get factual information.
1 person likes this
11 Aug 07
I would agree to pass on any positive information you can find as it can be quite a terrifying diagnosis if you do not really understand the condition. Although I haven't any real experience of people with Down's I have generally found them to be far from retarded and quite capable of a lot. My neighbour's son was able to attend a special facility which gave him a little job to gain independance and money. There is a little girl who attended nursery with my daughter who has gone on to attend the same primary school 2 days a week. Attitudes are changing towards Down's and there is much more supposrt and understanding.
1 person likes this
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
11 Aug 07
I think all you can do as a friend is be supportive. Children with Downs Syndrome have varying degrees of intelligence and many are high functioning. Early intervention is the best defense against any disease or condition and if the child gets early intervention, she has a very good chance of getting far enough along in her development. Also, I don't believe that these children are ever a burden. God doesn't give us more than we can handle and she is gift more than anything else. Here is a link for the National Downs Syndrome Society. When you look at the photos of these children, you will see how wonderful they are and what joy they bring to their families. http://www.ndss.org/
@Daelin (683)
• Brazil
12 Aug 07
This syndrome affects children in different grades. Some children can be totally retard and will have problems for the rest of their lives, other children will be able to adapt to the society even working. I have met a woman who has down syndrome. She went to regular school, now she is an adult. She works, has her own money and is a great person. The parents must already know about the disease and if you want to help them try to show the positive side of this.
@Daelin (683)
• Brazil
12 Aug 07
I meant different degrees. Sorry, my English is not that good.
• Australia
6 May 08
For starters whilst I know you have posted this with the best intentions there are SO many things wrong about what you just said.... and I apologise if this reply comes across as being aggressive or putting you down BUT it is exactly the view you have just expressed that I have been battling against my whole life. My older brother has Down Syndrome. He is 25 yrs old, 2 years older than me. He has a full time job, more friends than I do, a very active social life, many interests and hobbies, a loving girlfriend of EIGHT years and competes in a number of sports including basketball, ten pin bowling, lawn bowls, golf and swimming (funny how he can do all of this with 'weaker and stiff limbs' isn't it!). In fact he represents Australia at the World Down Syndrome swimming titles as part of a team of around 20 athletes. In the past 2 years they have travelled to Taiwan and Ireland, and will be competing in Portugal at the end of this year. Aside from this he is a well educated, well spoken, bright young man who has done more with his life in the past few years than many people could ever hope to achieve in their whole life. People who have Down Syndrome have every opportunity to grow up to be independent, intelligent people. But it is views such as yours (note the use of the term 'horrified') that often prevents this from happening. If a society has the view that an individual is never going to be able to learn to do certain things, thus doesn't bother assisting them to learn, chances are it will never happen. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. My parents have always approached things with my brother with a can do attitude. He has always been expected to do the same things as I do, and whilst he may not be able to learn them as quickly as I do it does happen. So perhaps rather than teach your friends about the 'horrific future of the child' you should be presenting them with positive information such as that i have just shared with you. They will get enough of the negative stuff from the rest of our uneducated society.... as a friend you should be presenting them with the truth.
• India
12 Aug 07
Well, I am surely surprized that you haven't told your friend yet about this. Down syndrome is not a curse, it is just a disease. there's no need for anyone to treat the patient differently than other kids. i am a biotechnologist and have studied this disease in detail. This is a genetic disease, and if your friend is not careful, her other children can be genetically deformed too. The best thing in these cases is to get some tests done when the child is still in the womb to assure its genetic status. If any anomaly is found, the child is aborted. Please, this is not a crime...and I mean to offend no one. But, don't you think it is bettr for the child itself..than to live with an incurable deformity all his/her life?? as for this child of ur friend, tell her not to despair. Treat the child with love and care, no special treatment...just be there for her. god is kind, the way wll be shown.
@cripfemme (7719)
• United States
12 Aug 07
People with Down Syndrome can live normal,independent lives in 2007. Just like all disabled people (like myself) can. People with Down Syndrome can go to normal schools, have jobs, live on their own, and even get married. I know people, personally, with Down Syndrome who've done all these things. Granted, this little girl's life will be more difficult than the "average" child. Her parents will need to be prepared to advocate for her and make sure she has good medical care and starts early intervention as soon as possible. But this child need not be a "life long burden" to anyone. If you need help (or friend needs advice), please email me. This is what I live to do! Also make sure they get a Down Syndrome specialist; it's important.
@globell45 (143)
• United States
12 Aug 07
a child is a child and still deserves to be loved with the whole heart whether he or she is all that. Do not add to your friends' burden, the doctors will help inform them.. Just give their child lotsa love, and let them know you are there for them. There is always hope when there is enough love to go around.