No matter how you decide to educate your child with Down syndrome, there will still be the issue of socialization - making friends. One of the biggest worries of parents with a Down syndrome child is:
Will my child be teased? How will I help my child with this and any hurt feelings?
Believe it or not, it is not typically the children you have to worry about - it is their parents. Most children will be accepting of your child. Parents, however, have often been taught that Down syndrome children need to be isolated and can't do much. They may think that your child should not be included in activities with their child.
The best thing you can do is to invite other children over to play. Make friends with the other child and their parents. Let them know about Down syndrome. Help them to understand that your child is more like their child than different. It is amazing what happens as people begin to understand. Understanding leads to acceptance.
This does not mean that your child will never be teased or never be hurt. The fact is that most children, with or without Down syndrome experience some teasing and hurtful comments. This does not make it right, but it is a sad fact of life.
One of the best defenses is to let your child know from the very beginning that she is different, but that differences are OK. Let her know that we all are different! This way, if your child encounters teasing, she will be able to say, "Yes I am different. All people are different, and so am I."
By Jane Orville
Jane Orville is the mother of a 17 year old Daughter with Down Syndrome and has spent years researching and compiling all the wisdom she has gained into a simple guide to assist parents deal with the concerns of raising a child with Down Syndrome. For more information see...