A Letter to Parents
Raising a child in our wild and crazy world can be challenging. It can be even more challenging if your child has special needs. I believe God will equip us and show us how to parent our children, with or without special needs. There is a lot of negative literature about Down syndrome. I want to encourage you to educate yourself about it, but also meet people who have a child with Down syndrome.
When we first found out Amy had Downs I didn’t know anyone who had it and really didn’t know anything about it. At first when the social worker asked me if I wanted to meet another family with a child with Down syndrome I said, “no”. I think I was scared or thought their child wouldn’t be like Amy anyway so why should I? When I was at one of Amy’s first appointments at Children’s Hospital the nurse showed me a video of a little boy about seven years old and he was playing with a German Shepherd. He was so happy and was hitting a ball with a bat for the dog to chase. I cried as I watched. It gave me hope.
Everything I had read up to that point made me feel like I had just given birth to a child who wouldn’t live a normal life. What a lie that was. Amy has a wonderful life. She is loved by so many. She has not only changed our lives but those around her. She was voted Homecoming Queen in her High School. Everyone in our community knows Amy. She works a few hours at Walmart and a few at McDonalds each week. She volunteers in our school system. Her life has purpose and meaning. Don’t let anyone deceive you into thinking the worst thing that can happen to you is to have a child with special needs. As crazy as it sounds the opposite is true. There is something I can’t explain about being Amy’s mom. My love for her is so intense. Yes she has required more time and attention than my other children but what she gives back makes it all worth it. I hope as you follow my blog you will be inspired and encouraged in raising your child.