I Wish I’d Known

March 2, 2011

Woodbine House is a leading publisher of books on the subject of children with special needs. While perusing their website one day, I came across a beautiful little resource- a collection of thoughts on what parents wish they had known when they were handed that fateful diagnosis of Down syndrome. 

What Parents Wish They’d Known is a free, downloadable booklet that can be shared with other parents, health professionals, educators, or support organizations.  It contains the reflections of more experienced parents of children with Down syndrome which are meant to encourage those who have more recently joined the club.  Assembled by Kathryn Soper and The Segullah Group, What Parents Wish They’d Known is sure to make you smile while offering a poignant glimpse into the fears that parents initially encounter when they first hear the words Down syndrome in relation to their child.

Upon reading it tonight, I’m reflecting on what I wish I’d known when my daughter was born.  There are so many things that I could say, but here is what tops the list:

I wish I’d known…

…how caring people are and how we would not have to do this alone.

…that my daughter would be a cover girl on a magazine and look absolutely gorgeous.

…that I’d still be able to work in a field I loved.

…that her first word would be her brother’s name and the bond between the two of them would be something I would marvel at every day.

…that she would eventually be able to eat and would have a voracious appetite!

…that “low muscle tone” is code for “extra cuddly”.

…that she would bring a smile to the faces of everyone we meet in the grocery store as she waved and said “hi” while going by in the buggy.

…what an influence her life would have on others across Canada and even around the world.

…that we would find a preschool where she is loved and accepted, and that the two of us would rock out to Pink on the way there in the morning.

…that she would be a sign language superstar, and there would be no problem in communicating with her.

…that our life would in many, many ways be better than it was before.

What do you wish you had known?

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