Tuesday, June 2, 2009

GETTING EDUCATED

As Emily's mother I believe it is important for me to learn all I can about her disability. I feel like I need to be "armed" with information. "Knowing is half the battle", right? Before I continue my blog, I think it's important for you to have a clear understanding of what Down Syndrome is. I also want to add, feel free to ask us any questions at any time. I think some people feel uncomfortable about Emily's disability, mostly because they don't know what it is & how it will affect her life. Always ask!! It will help you understand & it will make us feel better.

Down Syndrome or Trisomy 21 is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome. Instead of 46, Emily has 47. This disorder usually casuses delay in physical, intellectual & language development. The cause of Down Syndrome is unknown. It is one of the most common birth defects. It is estimated that 1 in every 1,000 babies will have Down Syndrome. There is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior and physical development in individuals with Down Syndrome. 30% - 50% of the individuals with Down Syndrome have heart defects and 8% - 12% have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities present at birth.

For a while Eric & I felt like we did something wrong, like we caused the Down Syndrome. I kept thinking I did something wrong during my pregnancy. That is clearly not the case, although it is hard to accept that. Talk about Mommy guilt!! We didn't do anything to cause the Down Syndrome, it just happened. I keep wanting to fix it & make it go away, but clearly that can't happen.

That's basically it. (If it were only that easy!) So, ask questions, google Down Syndrome, spread awareness....Most of all, just love Emily Grace like we do!! :)

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