Friend Has down Syndrome Daughter

Updated on December 13, 2006
K.B. asks from West Jordan, UT
7 answers

I just made a terrific new friend. She is a single mom raising two daughters-I visited her this past weekend and met her daughters. Lisa, 6, has Down Syndrome. She is a beautiful girl and had so much fun playing with my daughter, who is 3. I hope to have them over to our house in the near future. I see her as just another child, but is their anything I need to be sensitive to? Olivia seemed to do fine around Lisa and asked about her today. However, we have a son who is 7 who we have every other weekend. I am afraid that he will definitely notice a difference and say something about it. Any & all advice is greatly appreciated!

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answers from Salt Lake City on

My only sibling is my older brother named nate. He is now 29 years old. He has Down Syndrome. I had to explain to all of my friends growing up about my brother. They all loved him. In fact he made me popular growing up. It is great for kids to ask questions and get to know people with disabilities. I have three little girls and my oldest is 7. They all love their uncle Nate. Children adapt well to other people, you just need to explain that God makes all people different but that we need to treat everyone equal. Kids are amazing, you probably have nothing to worry about. N.



answers from Denver on

I would prepare your 7 year old prior to the time you invite your new friends over. Answer any questions he may have an let him know that you expect him to be kind and respectful when they are around. I think sometimes our words come out wrong at times because it is an area we are not around on a regular basis. I have found that children with down syndrome or even adults for that matter are to be very kind and loving, they enjoy the simple things in life that most of just pass by.. Hope that helps and congrats on this new friendship.. Blessings, C.



answers from Denver on

Hi K. I am the mother of a beautiful 5 yr old little girl named Victoria Rose. she is a special needs child of God. Just being accepted and treated like a typical child helps the most. we are all different some a little more than others. My two granddaughters they are 7-8 love Aunt Victoria they know Victoria is different than they are. She looks Typical, but her behavior and the fact she doesnt talk they know, and I answer questions all the time about her they are interested in knowing all they can and how can they help her it is a beautiful sight Victoria feels accepted and loved.God Bless you and your new special frienship...Vickie



answers from Denver on

I bet if you ask your friend she would be happy to let you know. I would think that a mother of a "special" child gets asked these questiions all the time. I would think after seven years she would be used to the questions and have standard answers for all those who ask. My daughter is in a preschool and there is a girl with special needs in her class. The kids treat her like all the rest of their friends and of course the teachers explain her special needs to them every day. They are only 2 but it is fun to watch their interaction with the little girl. I say either ask or don't be afraid to treat her like a "normal" child.



answers from Denver on

I have had the wonderful privilege of working with children and adults with developmental disabilities including downs syndrome for the past 10 years. A book that I have found very helpful in explaining down syndrome to other children is a book called My Friend Isabelle, Written by Eliza Woloson. It doesn't focus on the disability but the other differences the friends have. I think this book would be a great start for your son. You could read it together then have him ask questions about the book and about downs syndrome itself. Hope this helps.



answers from Denver on

Downs syndrome people are amazing! My best friend growing up, her brother has downs syndrome, I have known then since I was 5 and he was just another kid to me! I now have a 6 year old cousin who has Downs! I don't believe they are sensitive to anything that most kids aren't! Your son will probably ask questions, but that's what us parents are for, if you educate him about it, I am sure he will see the little girl as just another child! You and your children have a great opportunity to be apart of her life! I have never known a "Downs" person (I hate that term, they are people too) to be any different, they may have a learning curve, but don't we all! Okay, before I go off ranting and raving, I better stop! I have just always been around people with Downs syndrome, and several other "disabilities"! These so called "mental disabled" people are amazing! They have so much more passion that "normal" people do! I think it is great for your children to be around her! If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

Take care!



answers from Fort Collins on

Hi Kendra,
Congratulations on meeting your new friend and her wonderful family. I am a mother of three, ages 11, 6 and 2. My six year old son has Down Syndrome.

All I can say is don't make a big deal about your friend's child being "different". IF you son asks questions then answer them truthfully. There is nothing to be ashamed of and kids are not as shy as adults to ask.

The only thing "different" about your child and a child with Down Syndrome is that the child with DS has an extra chromosone. It is the same as if your son has his daddy's red hair and your perfect lips. Each child is different in his or her own way, that is what makes us unique.

Ask the mother if she is comfortable talking to your son about what makes a child with DS unique. Kids are fasinated by the fact that my son has a line across his hand (a sign of DS) and their "lifeline" curves.

Being upfront and honest with your son will make him more comfortable to be around the other child and because he knows what the "difference" is, he may be more likely to stand up for others in the future.

Let me know if there are any specific questions I can answer for you.

Again, congratulations on your new friend.

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