Three Tips for Parents of Children with Down Syndrome

Learning that your child will have Down syndrome can be a tumultuous experience. Parenting such a child comes with unique challenges that many parents are not quite prepared to face. You are excited for the prospect of parenting and loving your little one, but you do know it won't always be easy. One of the best ways to ensure your life remains as even-keeled as possible after your child is born is to spend some time on self care. Here are three things parents of children with down syndrome can do to take better care of themselves and their child.

Work with Your Child's Treatment Counselor

A key component of Down syndrome treatment, for many patients, is meetings with a counselor or therapist. These meetings are an opportunity for a professional to assess your child's development and make recommendations for how you, as a parent, can make changes to help your child advance. It's important that you work with the counselor to hone your parenting techniques. Not only will this yield better results in your child, but it will also give you better peace of mind as a parent. You'll feel like you have an ally on your side, and parenting a child with a disability is less trying when you don't feel like you're doing it alone.

You may also want to see a counselor on your own to discuss the trials you encounter when parenting and treating your child.

Collect Books

Even the most reputable, experienced counselor does not know absolutely everything about parenting a child with Down syndrome. So to gain even more perspective, start collecting books now. Look for books with a wide range of approaches. Find some written by other parents, some written by counselors, and others written by researchers. The more knowledge you have, the more confident you will be in your approach to child rearing. And confident parents are often better off mentally and emotionally.

Find a Support Group

You will also benefit from being able to share your experiences with other parents who understand. You may feel frustrated when discussing your challenges with a parent whose child does not have Down syndrome because he or she doesn't quite understand. At a support group for other parents of children with disabilities, however, you will find friends and allies who truly "get it." You will also learn from listening to their stories, and, if nothing else, attending support group every few weeks gets you out of the house.