Questions we get asked about having a child with special needs
Did you know October is Down Syndrome awareness month?
For my first post in October (this post was originally written in October), I wanted to answer some questions Sam and I get asked a lot since we had Harry and got his diagnosis.
1. The first question we always get asked is, did you know when you were pregnant?
No, we made the choice while I was pregnant that we didn’t want to know. It was a really personal choice for us but we researched the process of the testing and decided that if the results of the first test came back high risk we weren’t comfortable with getting other tests, with the risk that comes with them, and so refused all testing. If the NIPT had been widely available when I was pregnant we would have chosen that because it comes with 0% chance of miscarriage.
2. How is having a child with Downs different to having a ‘normal’ child?
The real answer to this question is, honestly, how would we know? We only have Harry but we have always strived to treat him the same as we would have treated him if he had not had downs syndrome. Obviously, this hasn’t always been possible, but we want Harry to grow up feeling like an equal to any brothers, sisters or cousins that may come along in the future.
3. Oh, aren’t kids with Down Syndrome always happy and cuddly?
Have you seen Harry when we turn Paw Patrol off? Or tell him no? He has just as many tantrums as any other 2 year old! Sometimes I think he’s worse. Don’t get me wrong he will smile at every person in the street who gives him a little attention and he is such a flirt! But he certainly can strop and tantrum like the best of them!
4. So does he talk yet?
Yes and no, Harry can say words but at the moment he prefers to use his signs. He communicates perfectly with everyone who knows Makaton and we can carry a simple conversation with him, but he uses his words when needed. And since he moved to the toddler room at nursery he babbles constantly! Can’t shut him up lately!
5. And finally, the most common question Sam and I get asked. Will you have more kids?
The answer to that question of course is Why wouldn’t we? Our plan has always been to have two children, and of course Harry has different needs to other children and we have a slightly higher chance of having another child with special needs but our family doesn’t quite feel complete without a little brother or sister for our monkey. I know, seeing him with his little cousin and any other babies he sees, Harry is going to be the very best big brother ever!
So that completes the first of my posts for World Down Syndrome Month 2018!! Happy October!!
WRITTEN BY KAT HUGGINS FOR HER BLOG, RAISING HARRY.