Myth: A child with Down syndrome will suffer.
Myth: Bringing a child who has Down syndrome into your family will be harmful to your other children.
Reality: This is just not true! In fact it is just the opposite. Siblings of people with Down syndrome actually have a higher chance of becoming more compassionate and accepting of other people. We see that in our family. From a very early age, Owen knew that Mason learns at a different pace from other kids his age. We always emphasized the fact that everyone is different and has things that come easy to them and things that are hard. Owen supports and encourages Mason and is always there for him. And Owen's friends follow his lead and treat Mason just like any little brother! Amelia and Mason have a very typical brother / sister relationship... they fight over toys (a lot) but when Amelia is sad, Mason is the first one to run over and tell her "It's okay, don't be sad, baby." The benefits of having a sibling with Down syndrome have been a best kept secret until Dr. Brian Skotko did a study on the affects of having a sibling with Down syndrome which showed that the vast majority of brothers and sisters describe their relationship with their sibling with DS as positive and enhancing. Link to Dr. Skotko's study
Myth: Children with Down syndrome must be placed in segregated special education programs.
|Mason with one of his many wonderful teachers!|
Reality: Children with Down syndrome have been included in regular academic classrooms in schools across the country. In some instances they are integrated into specific courses, while in other situations students are fully included in the regular classroom for all subjects. The current trend in education is for full inclusion in the social and educational life of the community. This is our goal for Mason. There is no reason that Mason cannot participate in a general education classroom with a modified curriculum for those areas that he falls behind. Studies show that when children with Down syndrome learn alongside their "typical" peers, they learn faster and more effectively than when they are isolated in a special education classroom. Increasingly, individuals with Down syndrome graduate from high school with regular diplomas, participate in post-secondary academic and college experiences and, in some cases, receive college degrees. We will give Mason every opportunity to also meet those goals.