The family is a child’s most vital resource, the stronger the support the healthier the child. Research tells us that most (70%) families of children with Down syndrome adapt and lead ordinary family lives. Furthermore, families report benefiting from having a child with Down syndrome siting that they experience joy in the smaller accomplishments most people take for granted. Parents are a child’s best advocate and should gather as much information as they can on how to raise their child with Down syndrome.
According to the Manchester Down Syndrome Cohort, families that do so:
- Tend to use practical coping strategies; they seek out information and services.
- Join parent support groups.
- Develop a supportive emotional climate and encourage open communication between family members.
Families should seek care professionals who can best teach activity and behavior management skills to them so that they are knowledgeable. The National Down Syndrome Society offers support and resources including a complete list of local Down syndrome affiliates in the United States (pdf) as well as international organizations. Those with insurance needs should visit HealthCare.gov.
Check out this study from the NARIC collection examining the ways in which families with young children born with disability organize their lives.