If you just found out that your child will be born with Down Syndrome, it's time to start preparing for the adventure. It's true that your child will require additional support during their early years in order to develop properly. However, it's also true that with the right support, your child will be able to enjoy a happy life. To help your child receive the support they'll need, here are four steps you should take during their early years.
Understand the Condition
You're going to have a lot of questions about Down Syndrome, and that's to be expected. In order to give your child the care they're going to need, you'll need to understand the condition. Now's the time to start learning about Down Syndrome. While you're still expecting, spend this time reading up on the condition, and how you can help your child develop to their full potential. Be sure to discuss the condition with your doctor. It's also important that you contact a pediatrician near you before your child is born. This will allow you to ask questions that will help you prepare for the birth of your child. Contacting a pediatrician early will also allow the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the pediatrician who will be caring for your child.
Educate Your Family
While you're familiarizing yourself with Down Syndrome, it's also important that you educate your family, including any siblings your new baby may have. They'll need to understand the condition, and how they can help. They'll also need to understand the limitations that your new baby may have, as well as ways that they can get involved in your baby's development.
Start Looking for Schools Early
Your baby may have developmental delays that will require special educational programs. It's important that you begin planning for those programs as early as possible. Once your baby is born, start reaching out to schools in your area. The extra time will allow you to identify the best programs for your child. It will also give you the opportunity to identify the educational programs that you'll want your child involved in once they do begin school.
Reach Out to a Down Syndrome Counselor
Children with Down Syndrome can benefit greatly from additional counseling and therapy. Before your child is born, reach out to counselors in your area that specialize in the treatment of children with Down Syndrome. You and your child will need all the support you can get. It's best to have a network in place before your baby is born.
Contact a treatment center, like ABC Pediatric Therapy, for more help.