Parenting a Child With Down Syndrome
Support for Parents of a Child With Down Syndrome
Having a child with Down syndrome can be a frightening and lonely experience, especially at first. There are many resources available, so be sure to reach out and get the support you need:
- Learn all you can. Read about Down syndrome in other sections of this web site and other online sources. Ask questions of the child's pediatrician.
- Build a support system. Seek out local groups and parent network organizations for families that have a child with Down syndrome. Ask your doctor or child developmental specialist for referrals. Join an online chat group for parents of a child with Down syndrome.
- Take care of yourself. Don't forget to care for the caregiver -- yourself. You won't do anyone any good if you get burned out. Take regular time to do the things you love, or have a night out with friends.
- Take care of your relationships. Try to make regular adult time for you and your partner. Find a babysitter you like and trust. And don't forget your other children: make sure to keep up with their activities and try to have special one-to-one time with them as often as possible.
- Get help. If you and your partner are consistently burned out or depressed, or if you are not getting along, seek help. Having a disabled child can be extremely stressful, and can put your relationship at risk. Your health care provider can refer you to a qualified individual, family, or couple's therapist.