Are you a new parent?

If you are reading this page, it is probably because you have recently learnt that your child is a child with Down’s syndrome.
Before you have had time to really know him, your child has been labelled with Down’s syndrome, two words that you may not know or that can even frighten you.
In this website, you can find some information on what Down’s syndrome is and how you can follow the growth of your child. You can also benefit from the experience of other parents that have travelled the same journey as yours.

Children with Down’s syndrome are… Dario, Valeria, Marco, Diego, Francesca…
Down’s syndrome children are not all the same.
It is enough to look at photographs of children and people with Down’s syndrome to notice that even though they have in common some somatic features, they each have characteristics from their own families.
Beyond their look, if one gives these children the possibility of expressing themselves one discovers that these children have their own interests, their passions, things they like and do not like, just as other children do.
It is often the case that people with Down’s syndrome are considered all the same and their behaviour is interpreted as a characteristic of Down’s syndrome. People forget that each child with Down’s syndrome is first of all a child that also has Down’s syndrome.
It is that child that one must look at – and not at the Down’s syndrome child – in order to relate with him or her.

If a child with Down’s syndrome does not play like other children, it may perhaps be because he or she is shy or he or she does not know the rules of the game, not because he or she is a Down’s syndrome child.
If another such child falls asleep at school or disturbs the class one will have to find out if the reason for this might not be boredom after prolonged inactivity or lack of interaction.
If an adult who is working often says that he is tired and looks at his watch, one may well ask if he really has a role in the organization of his workplace or whether or not he is just simply tolerated and considered incompetent by his colleagues.
If another person with Down’s syndrome is efficient and very productive, he or she will not be a special Down’s syndrome person, but rather a person doing a job suited to him or her and valued by others.

The skills of Down’s syndrome people are often higher than we expect.
By growing up with your child you will learn to know your son or daughter, you will support him or her and will make him fly high.

There will be easy times and other more difficult times.
We want to support you but the greatest help you will get will come from him or her.

Children are like kites, you spend all your lifetime trying to make them fly off the ground.
Run and run with them until you are both breathless.
Like kites, they end up on the ground…
You mend things and provide comfort, you put things straight and you teach.
You see them lift themselves with the wind and you reassure them that soon they will learn to fly.
They are finally flying in the sky. Then they need more string and you continue to give it out.
With each meter of string that runs out of your hand
Your heart fills with joy as well as sadness.
Day after day, the kite moves further and further
And you feel that it twill not be long before
That beautiful creature breaks the thread that links you and flies off,
As it is right that they should be, free and alone.
It is only then that you will know you have fulfilled your task
(Erma Bombeck)

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