I think that a lot of the time, finding out that your child has a disability is like any other grieving process - denial, anger, blame, grief, etc. It seems like your friend may be stuck at the denial stage - it is easier for some people to accept their child's disability than others.
I would give ehr some tie, then maybe suggest some DS paren t support groups - it may help for her to talk to other parents going through the same thing as her
Abbigail -my chatty monkey
Adam, my mischievious monkey
Jacob, my autistic snuggle monkey
12/4/08 10:30 P
Hi Mel, I have a son who is 34 months with DS. I had a terrible time accepting his diagnosis for the first few months. However now I have come to accept this new life and try to do anything and everything to involve him in a "normal" life. With that being said, I do not exclude him from the activities which involve him with his DS peers or other children with special needs.
Everyone handles these things differently and it is honestly very difficult to accept that your child is considered disabled. Do I think that high expectations will set this child up for failure...not at all. I think often times people assume our children are not capable of things because they have DS and studies show that with time and a little hard work, our children can many times accomplish the same things their peers do. I do think that it is important to also be involved with other children and families with DS. I have found the greatest support and friendships through our local DS support group and my son has met friends that I know will be with him lifelong.
10/22/08 11:07 A
Becca_Baby - thank you for your kind words. I am trying to be the best friend I can be to her and tell her how awesome I think her LO is doing. I don't dwell on her DS because they don't. I want me to be someone they know they can talk to about it when the time comes.
I just want what is best for them and for all of them to be happy. Sitting back and rolling with it might be the only way to go for now and I can definitley do that.
Thank you again! ~Mel
10/21/08 6:55 P
I don't have personal experience with Down Syndrome, but my understanding is that during the early years development may very well be within the "normal" range with the help of therapy and such. So, your friend maybe be right for the time being!
Unfortunately, as time progresses the developmental gap will widen.
Yes, your concerns are valid and yes you're being the friend that nobody wants to deal with. Haha. Sorry.
I think it's very difficult - if not impossible - to truly get a handle on their situation unless you've walked in their shoes. Accepting reality of a child with special needs isn't like a religious awakening...you don't get smacked on the head and suddenly proclaim, "I believe!" It's a process and a very long, difficult one and the reality of it changes with time. Each child is different, each disability is different, and each child and disability changes with time so the course each parents takes is different and nearly impossible to objectively judge.
I think she is so lucky to have a friend like you - one who obviously cares very deeply about her and her daughter. Keep being a friend. Keep supporting her. You'll know when she is ready and NEEDS to network. For the time being, I would allow them the opportunity and space to feel "normal" for as long as they are able. Stay her "normal" friend...not her friend who sees her as the mother of a child with a disability. It's so, so hard to keep friendships as a mother of a child with issues like these. You would never imagine the people who silently disappear from your life.
You seem like such a great, caring friend...keep it up!
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