I have recently joined Ann Foundation, whose mission is to empower and educate children with disabilities.
The founder of the Foundation, Ann Moideen, has encouraged me to write a blog in which I will share the emotional trauma, joy, love, hardships, and fun of raising my son. My hope is that my experience will encourage many parents in developing countries to better accept and better deal with raising a child with Down Syndrome or some other special needs.
Like any parent, my husband and I were excited about having a baby. When a fair looking boy was born at 12:00 am, I was so excited that I asked the doctor “Who does he looks like?” When I heard the word ‘Down Syndrome’, it was hard at first to hear that expression to describe my newborn son.
Since I was being given sleeping medication, I thought I was hallucinating at the time. When I woke up, it was with disbelief. Because my husband had gone to drop my parents and in-laws at their home, I was alone with my baby. I cannot imagine what was going through my husband’s mind then.
Regardless of my son’s condition, I immediately fell in love with him. My worst fear, however, was the reaction of society. At first, I wanted to hide from everyone, and I actually kept a low profile for a while. But over the years, we have realized that a child is a child, and that as long as we treat him or her as a normal person the people around us will do the same. After several months, a genetic test confirmed that my baby had Down Syndrome.
I must say that my son, who is now eight years old, has given me an extra pair of eyes to see the world ‘differently’. The selfless love and affection a special need person gives you is something that nobody else on earth can give you.
It may be a little hard at first to hear that your newborn has some issues. You may well feel shock, disbelief, guilt, and rage. Your world will not be over though. In fact, your child is a blessing and one day you are going to be so proud of him or her. You are going to enjoy every milestone and development of your child. We all need to know that no one is to blame for our child’s condition.
Now that I have started writing about my son, I feel much happier. Those of us who have children with special needs should share our stories so we can help each other.