How Down syndrome affects the family

Having a child with Down syndrome is an incredible experience. It's also incredibly difficult, and it can take a while to adjust to the changes in your family. We've been there, so this page is meant to help you through some of the challenges that may come up during this transition. We want you to know that it will get better - we promise!

Having Down syndrome doesn't mean that your child won't live a full, productive life.

“Down syndrome” is a term used to describe a genetic condition that causes developmental delays and learning disabilities. Down syndrome does not mean that your child will be sick or disabled; it simply means that the 21st chromosome was copied in the wrong way, resulting in some of its characteristics being altered.

While there are many medical conditions associated with Down syndrome, including heart defects and hearing loss (to name just two), these are not “Down syndrome symptoms” per se: they are simply complications of an underlying condition for which we do not yet have an effective treatment or cure. In other words: if you have your baby tested early enough—and most doctors recommend between 10 and 14 weeks post-conception—you may discover that he or she has a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome before any other health issues arise.

Sometimes you'll feel sad, frustrated or angry. That's normal.

You may feel sad, frustrated or angry. That's normal. You may also feel like you're the only person who feels this way. But don't be surprised if a friend or family member shares her feelings of sadness and frustration with you, too.

It's important to let your emotions out so they don't get bottled up inside of you and make it harder for you to help your child cope with Down syndrome. At times, however, it can be hard to manage your emotions while still helping your child learn new skills or problem solve when they're upset by something that happens in their lives (like having a difficult time using technology). If this happens frequently enough, it could pose a risk for depression later on down the road—so make sure you talk about how these situations are making each other feel with someone who understands how overwhelming parenting can sometimes be!

Your child needs your love and support.

  • You have to be patient with your child. Your child will learn at their own pace, and they may not be able to do things that other children can do.

  • You have to be supportive of your child. This can help them feel good about themselves and know that they are important in your life.

  • You need to make sure that your child has a good education so they can get a job when they grow up, which will allow them to support themselves financially as an adult.

  • You need to make sure that your child has healthy habits like eating right and exercising regularly so they stay healthy throughout life!

Your family may feel overwhelmed by certain questions.

You are not alone. While it can feel like you are the only family in the world dealing with a child with Down syndrome, there are many resources available to help you cope. It is important to ask for help when you need it—don't wait until you're exhausted or overwhelmed before reaching out just because you're afraid others won't understand what it's like to be a parent of a child with special needs.

If your child has Down syndrome, don't hesitate to reach out to other parents who have kids with special needs and get support from them—this is an excellent way to learn more about your situation and find ways of dealing with the challenges that come up along the way (although no two families' experiences are exactly alike).

Explain Down syndrome to your other children in a way they can understand.

The best way to explain Down syndrome to your other children, who might not have any understanding of disabilities, is through the lens of their own lives. Explain what it means to have Down syndrome. For example:

"Down syndrome affects our son in many ways. He has trouble learning and he doesn't speak as well as other kids."

"He also cries a lot more than our other kids did when they were this age."

"But he's very loving and friendly like all the other kids in his class."

Tell them how being different from everyone else isn't bad or scary—but that everyone has problems and challenges that make them unique! If you want to share stories about how other families with similar situations helped their children learn new skills or cope with challenges, let them know you're open for questions!

Give your child's older siblings the attention they need and deserve.

If you have an older child, it’s important not to neglect him or her. Children with Down syndrome can be more demanding of attention, but it's also true that they will give back so much more than they take. A child with Down syndrome can enjoy a variety of activities and relationships that siblings might not be able to participate in, especially when it comes to school and extracurricular activities.

Siblings need love and attention too! You may find that this is one of your greatest challenges as a parent: making sure that both your children are getting what they need from the family unit. While it may seem impossible at times, try your best to maintain balance between giving your child with Down syndrome all the time he or she needs (and deserves), and giving enough time for your other children as well.

Keep the family's daily routines as normal as possible.

The best way to help your child adjust to the Down syndrome diagnosis is to keep the family's daily routines as normal as possible. The more structured you can make things, the better. This includes:

  • Making sure that your child with Down syndrome is included in family meals, outings and activities.

  • Keeping home environment as calm and orderly as possible.

  • Making sure that everyone in the family gets what they need while helping a loved one with Down syndrome.

As much as possible, involve your child with Down syndrome in family meals, outings and activities.

As much as possible, involve your child with Down syndrome in family meals, outings and activities.

If you have more than one child with Down syndrome, keep them together at home as much as possible. This will help develop their social skills.

Make sure your child has adequate time alone to enjoy themselves by doing an activity they enjoy such as playing with toys or drawing pictures, but also make sure they have time with the family during meal times and other daily routines like taking a walk or going out for groceries.

You have to make sure that the whole family gets what they need while helping a loved one with Down syndrome

So, you're going to have a child with Down syndrome. There are no two ways about it: that's going to change your family forever. But if you know what you're doing and keep in mind what's best for everyone involved, it can be made much easier on your other children and yourself.

As far as your other children are concerned, they need attention just like any other kid does—and when their brother or sister is constantly needing extra care and attention from Mommy or Daddy (or both!), that makes it harder for them to get all of the love they deserve from their parents. Make sure they know that they are still loved by giving them time alone with one parent at least once per week; maybe even take them out on special dates every now and then! And don't forget about Dad too—he needs a break too sometimes!

The most important thing is to keep the family together. The whole family needs to know what to expect and how they can help each other through this journey.