NEW AND EXPECTANT PARENTS
You will hear many things about Down syndrome. Please know, that much of what you will be told is out of date or incorrect. We can provide you with current and accurate information about Down syndrome that will make you feel knowledgeable and less anxious. We can empower you to make informed decisions. We can connect you with parents who understand your journey. Their insights emotional support will be invaluable to you. We hope that you will contact us soon.
HOW WE HELP
If you are pregnant and would like to speak with other families who are raising children with Down syndrome, we are happy to put you in touch. Please call us at 561.752.3383 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that often times getting the news that your baby has Down syndrome. can be overwhelming. We can help you meet other families, give you information about enrolling your baby in early intervention services, help you find helpful websites and more. We are there to listen and help. Our weekly Best Start Music Therapy Program runs Wednesday mornings from ten a.m. to noon. The music program is open to babies and toddlers, brothers and sisters, and families and friends. We also have an online facebook support group.
Para mas informacion en espanol, favor de llamar a Lupe Torres al 561-289-5748 or click en Espanol.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
by Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. You’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But … if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.
© 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
Posted with permission of the author 4/2009