The rules today are to post One Truth (about Down syndrome or our lives with Down syndrome), One Tip (Ds-related or related to parenting a child with Ds), and One Photo (easy!).
One Truth: People with Down syndrome have a MUCH higher chance of developing early-onset Alzheimer's disease, with a 50% chance by the time they're 50, since they have the presence of beta amyloid plaques (the same thing that's present in the brains of Alzheimer's patients) in their brains from birth. These plaques build up over time, appearing earlier and with more frequency than in the "typical" population. This truth scares the crap out of me. Alzheimer's researchers are looking to the Down syndrome population for answers and the keys to combatting the disease for everyone.
One Tip: Don't push. It takes a lot of trial and error, tears and frustration to get to this point. Sometimes you have to realize that you just can't make your child do something that they refuse to do - there are often reasons for their reticence, and for Sammi there are most definitely environmental triggers. For example, birthday parties. I have tried her time and time again, gotten upset about it, blogged about it, banged my head against a wall (figuratively, mind you...) over it. She cries nearly every time we attend one. Doesn't matter where it's held for the most part, but I think over-stimulation plays a big part. I've tried everything - pulling her out of the room before the group sings the Happy Birthday song (she doesn't like the sound of loud singing), wearing headphones, you name it. It's not worth her fear/terror/being upset. I've decided to pull back on the parties, give them a rest, and understand that there are just some things we can't do.
One Photo: Sammi started soccer a few weeks ago. While she's not completely sold on it yet, we're working on it slowly... Hopefully before the end of the season she'll be having a great time out on the field!