On one of our Ds forums, a newbie posted some questions. She doesn't have a child with T21, but she knows someone who has a child who just happens to be blessed. The mom wants to invite the child to a play group and had a few questions, which is totally understandable.
I have a lot of questions, I am sorry if I will ask personal questions.
Feel free to answer them or not. Sorry if I am not using the right terminology.
1. Are there any kids with Down syndrome that are not mentally behind?
2. Are all kids with Down syndrome slower then the average kids?
3. Should the relatives know everything or just some information?
4. Are children with Ds quieter, less demanding?
5. Do they understand everything around them or not?
6. Are there special toys they play with or do we get them the same toys?
7. What are some negative things about Down syndrome kids?
9. Anything else I need to know?
She did get a few responses. Mainly wanting to know why she was asking. And this was her response:
Yes, I will and do treat that child as a person. But don't you treat a 5 year old different then a 1 year old?
I just know someone who has a child with down syndrome-I would like to include them in our play-dates, birthday parties - and if the mom is not providing you with the info, and pretending that she has a normal child - its hard. She don't want us to treat that child any different. I am not being mean - but the child is different. The child might be the same age as my child but is not able to do what my child is doing. Do I make any sense?
And sooner or later my kids will start noticing will ask questions - I will have to provide answers. But before I answer them I need to know what I am talking about. And I guess I just have a lot on my mind and would like to help out as much as I can. So, any info you moms can provide me will be helpful. Again I am not trying to put anyone down - I am just looking for answers. But its hard for me to get answers because I don't even know what I should ask about, and what I need to know. I just read the general description of Down Syndrome. Basically that's all I know.
When I had my first child I read a lot about what to expect - when they start sitting, looking, playing, walking, what to feed him and when. I guess this is what I would like to know about Down syndrome is there books I can find on it? sorry I am not very educated-but I would like to be. I don't know where to start.
Well, yes you do treat a 5 year old differently than a 1 year old. The 5 year old is a little more independent. However we don't treat a a 5 year old who just happens to have Ds any differently than a 5 year old who doesn't have Ds. A child is a child, regardless of anything extra. A child with Ds just happens to be blessed with a little something extra is all.
If you want to invite this child to a play group, then do so. Kids play with other kids regardless of ability. It's called being a kid. Your child will not focus on the differences UNLESS you point them out. Remember, you are the one who teaches your child. Your child is not born with prejudice, it is taught.
And I did answer her questions.
1. Is there any kids with down syndrome that are not mentally behind? Some children are higher functioning than others. Having Ds has nothing to do with it. Just like with typically developing children, some are gifted while others are not. Einstein was a mathematical genius, but he couldn't tie his own shoes.
2. Are all kids with Down syndrome slower then the average kids? The same answer as #1
3. Should the relatives know everything or just some information? Depends on if the relatives would treat the child any different. Our kids aren't different, the adults are.
4. Are children with Ds quieter, less demanding? Ummmm, that would be a big fat negative. Aiden screams like you wouldn't believe.
5. Do they understand everything around them or not? Do you?
6. Are there special toys they play with or do we get them the same toys? Aiden's toys come from the same stores you buy toys at, and I bet the same aisles. All toys are developmental toys. Sometimes we just use the toys differently.
7. What are some negative things about Down syndrome kids? That people sterotype our kids and think they are different.