Generally, the longer an announcement is put off, the harder it may be. Most people know very little about Down syndrome, so education is important. Some people will think back to people with Down syndrome that they knew as children. Their thoughts will tend to be out-dated because today, society is more accepting of people with disabilities. Children born with Down syndrome today have available to them more inclusive educational and community opportunities than children born even a decade ago. For some people, it may be extremely difficult to accept your child. That will be their problem and misfortune if they choose not to be a part of your family’s life.
Generally, family and friends will follow your lead. Most people will want to sincerely share your experience in the same supportive and encouraging way as with the birth of any child. It may also be helpful to share your child’s accomplishments throughout the years so that friends and family can continue to share developmental and educational milestones. On the other hand, it will also be helpful to share any difficult times, such as an illness or surgery.
Oftentimes, a child with Down syndrome will cause others to reflect and find new, different and deeper meanings in their own life.
Source: When Your Baby Has Down Syndrome
About the Authors: Nancy J. Murray and Dr. William I. Cohen are with The Down Syndrome Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh