Please let your sister-in-law know that first of all, what they found doesn't necessarily mean that her child will have Down's Syndrome. But...if he/she does...its not the end of the world I promise you that.
My 9 yr old daughter is special needs. She was diagnosed at 2 1/2. When people found out that she has a diagnosis, their first response was "I'm so sorry." But I quickly explained to them that there is no reason to be sorry. I have a beautiful, intelligent, active lil girl! She is the light of my life! She has no idea that (according to society) there is something 'wrong' with her. We've told her since she was old enough to understand that she is 'special'...that we are all different...that she can do things that others can't and that there are things that others can do that she can't. Children with 'special needs' need to be taught things differently than 'normal' kids...but they can and do grow up to be healthy, productive, intelligent teens...young adults and adults. They want all of the same things that we want....to be loved and accepted for who they are...it's that simple. We are bringing our special lil angel up pretty much the same as our other children. From my experience (both professional and personal), the kids with 'special needs' who are 'babied' or have everything done for them have a much more difficult time as they get older. Now, my lil one is also the baby of the family...so...she is a bit spoiled...lol. But, as far as she is concerned, she is just like the other kids.
My 'special needs' daughter is 9 yrs old. I have a nephew who is just 3 months younger than she is (he is also 9) who is also 'special needs' , who has been brought up very different than my daughter.
We have been hands on with our daughter. We've searched and researched for the best possible care and ways to 'handle' and 'take care of' our daughter. We play with her and read to her. Like any 'normal' 9 yr old girl, she has a bedroom full of toys, games and books. She is in mainstream 4th grade this yr. She plays T-ball, is on a bowling league, is a cheerleader, love Nascar and football and loves to shop...lol.
My nephew on the other hand, altho their diagnosis are pretty close...still is difficult to understand. He spends most of his time watching TV and playing video games for hours on end. His behavior is out of control. His parents didn't/don't take time with him. They don't play WITH him or read to him. They find things to occupy his time so they can continue with their busy lives. And they are wondering why my daughter is doing so much more than their son.
My thought from day 1 was...if we as her parents/siblings don't do all that we can to help her to be her best possible...who will? Yes, it takes time from other things that we may want to do. But, you know what? Those things will still be there after she goes to bed and/or is no longer needing/wanting our undivided attention. We all want the best for our children. We are their guiding lights and they are our shining stars!
There are A LOT of services and specialists in the Indy area who can help with Down's Syndrome kids. IF your sister-in-law is blessed with a 'special' lil one...remind her to thank God for him/her and do all that she can to help her child to be his/her best possible. And feel free to either IM or e-mail me if you want info.