How to explain Down Syndrome to a child? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 12-11-2007, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We were driving the other day and there was a pro-life billboard with a baby that had Down Syndrome and it said something about all children are a blessing(or something to that extent). Well my 6 & 7 year olds wanted to know what Down Syndrome is...and I wasn't sure how to explain it to them(or myself for that matter). Hope you don't mind me asking on your board as we don't have any special needs children(that we know of). So how can I explain what D.S. is to them? Thanks!! Sara

Homeschooling Mama to 6. Waiting for baby #7 to arrive mid September.
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#2 of 6 Old 12-11-2007, 06:24 PM
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Well, I didn't need any explaining as a child, but I knew lots of kids with different conditions, and it wasn't just blared at me with a billboard like that. I'm not sure how you might go about it, but I think it was best for me to just meet them.

I guess I'd explain that people with developmental conditions are just different, and it's how they are made. Some people need help with stuff, and some don't, some look different, some don't. Other than that, they are just people, and they may or may not get along with each other, just like everyone else.

I'm not a mother or family member of anyone with DS, this is just from the point of view of someone who had a couple of SN freinds in 6th grade, because I went out of my way to spend time in the (pre-mainstreaming) SN classroom, playing with the kids there.

Maura
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#3 of 6 Old 12-11-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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We just told our children that their new brother will need some extra time learning things. They have taken it in stride and adore him. Nowadays so many therapies are offered to kids with DS that there is really not many limits to what they may learn or accomplish.

We also kind of explained about genes a little bit but only our teens got that part.
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#4 of 6 Old 12-11-2007, 11:06 PM
 
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We have been explaining it to our now 5.5 year since his sister was born. We started by saying she would need more help etc. Then we got into telling him about chromosomes and how she has an extra one. They we talked about all the other kids we know with Ds and the similarities etc. But the same can be true for a whole list of chromosomal stuff so i don't know how far you have to drill it down unless they ask questions. But i would reiterate that though there are some differences, children with special needs are more like them then not etc.

If you do not have someone with Ds in your family or close to you, i think it is a good time to just talk about how some people are different. Some are blind, in wheelchairs, have autism, speech issues etc. A good book is Todd Parr's Everyone is Different.
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#5 of 6 Old 12-11-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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I just....don't. My son doesn't really ever ask, but if he does comment on other kids with DS or other developmental issues, I simply tell him that everyone is different, and everyone, every.single.person learns things differently and in a different time frame. Some kids need help to learn in certain ways, others need help to learn in other ways. And that's it. And he once told me that my friend's son, who does have Down Syndrome, didn't speak English, but rather spoke "Koreaish" (he was in a preschool with a large Asian population, and H's pre-verbal babble apparently sounded like Korean to him". H's mom LOVED that.
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#6 of 6 Old 12-12-2007, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much you all!! Sara

Homeschooling Mama to 6. Waiting for baby #7 to arrive mid September.
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