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At what age did you tell siblings


 
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Oliviasdaddy
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 2:12 PM    Post subject:
At what age did you tell siblings
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How did you tell the siblings about brother or sister having DS? Olivia's sister is 4 1/2 and very smart. She has not said anything yet, but it is coming soon. Any pointers?
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Tom
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 2:50 PM    Post subject:
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We told Beth right away that her brother would take a little longer to learn and would need a little extra help.

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earlyam
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 3:22 PM    Post subject:
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My daughter Georgia had just turned four when Ethan was born and I told her after I got home from the hospital.......I guess Ethan was around a week old.

I just told her that her little brother has DS and that he would take a little longer to learn, walk, talk etc. TBH....despite feeling really anxious and emotional about telling Georgia it was kind of an anti-climax as after I told her she just said 'Ok......can we play now' Laughing

I bought a couple of books for siblings about DS which I found really helpful........They were lovely and simple and she would often ask me questions. She also went through a phase of asking if she (and mummy and daddy!) had DS when we were born and when anybody had a new baby would ask if they has DS too. It was just her way of thinking things through.

When she was in pre-school she took one of the books in to show her teacher, after they read it to the class Georgia went up to the front and proudly told all her friends about her little brother having DS and what it means......made me realise how much they take in....even when you think their not really listening!

Some times we go for ages without Georgia asking a question.....then we get loads and we just try to answer them as best we can. I found that taking her to the monthly DS support group really helped, especially as there are other older siblings around her age.

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4littlelambs
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 3:25 PM    Post subject:
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They just always knew. We just have always talked about it, told them right from the get-go. They were only 2,4 and 6 but they always just were told that Josh has Down Syndrome and a hole in his heart, etc.

They didn't, of course, know what it all meant back then (and we're all still learning).

susan & josh (7)
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Helen
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 4:40 PM    Post subject:
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We bought the book 'We'll Paint the Octopus Red' and that basically did all the explaining for us! It's a book about a girl whose little brother is born with DS and how the family deal with it. And we found it extremely helpful. We told Rachael very early on as, although she was only 2, we thought it best that she knew from the start...

Look it up on Amazon! Here's the product description - '
As six-year-old Emma anticipates the birth of her new baby brother or sister, she vividly imagines all of the things they can do together. Emma feels ready to be a big sister! Then when the baby is born, her dad tells her that it's a boy and he has something called Down syndrome. Finally she asks, "If Isaac has this Down thing, then what can't he do?". Her dad thinks about it, then tells her that as long as they are patient with him, and help him when he needs it, there probably isn't anything Isaac can't do. In this touching story, Emma helps her father as much as he helps her to realise that Isaac is the baby they dreamed of. The book concludes with a set of commonly asked questions about Down syndrome with answers for children and how it might affect their sibling and family. For ages 3-7.'

And a customer review - 'We'll Paint the Octopus Red starts out with Emma not being very excited about having a new brother or sister. Eventually, she and her dad think of all the things she could do with a new baby, and she becomes not only excited, but ready to be a big sister. When her father breaks the news to her that her new baby brother Isaac has Down syndrome, Emma worries that the new baby won't be able to do all those exciting things they had planned on. Through the eyes of a child, Emma's father quickly comes to terms with the fact that their lives, as a family and for Isaac, can still be rich and memories can still be made.'

I seriously rate it.

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Rachael Kinza (25/07/01), Matthew Isaac - DS & Autism - (14/06/03) and Hannah Cerys (14/06/05) - my gorgeous kids!





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DanielsMommy
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 4:46 PM    Post subject:
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My Elayna was not even 3 when Danny was born....so she kind of grew up around the words Down syndrome. I don't think we ever had an offical conversation....more like she'd just ask questions like when we went to the Buddy Walk. We also have been to several downsyn get togethers (the first one being in early 2006 when he was 9 months old..and that would have made Elayna 3.5).

At that point, she could tell who had Ds and who didn't. When we did talk about it, I just told her that Danny would need some extra time to learn things. She saw EI therapists come for him as early back as she can remember....so to her....it's just part of her everyday life.

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JanAndFamily
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 6:46 PM    Post subject:
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Katherine was almost 3 when Christopher was born, and we didn't get his diagnosis until he was 1 mo. We didn't talk about it around her while we were still dealing with the news, but as she got older we started including it in conversations when she was present and occasionally explained that he would need more help to learn things. She's 5.5 now and still doesn't really understand the implications, she just takes him for granted where he is. We never really see any older people here with DS though for her to have any concept of anyone else with it. We don't make a big deal of it or have "big" conversations with her about it, just make it part of life that gets talked about like other things do. I've mentioned to her a few times that different people have different gifts, abilities, interests, etc, and pointed out some for each of them.

Jan

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Ericanaysha
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 9:26 PM    Post subject:
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I just sat Natalie(6) down and told her about everything going on with him. We have to go see the doc alot so I gave her the reasons why.
She loves him just the same and while I don't think she completely gets it, that's fine. We will continue to talk about it as he gets older.
Natalie calls Ephraim "her little gift"
Caleb just turned two so obviously I haven't sat him down and talked about it. LOL

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QuinnsMom
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 10:49 PM    Post subject:
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We told my oldest right after we found out and were in a state that we could tell him. My middle child we didn't officially tell (he was young at the time), but he knows because we talk about DS and he has gone to a lot of functions related to DS.

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maziebaby
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 10:52 PM    Post subject:
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Mazie was about an hour old when our doctor told us and our oldest son then 17 was in the room and just put his head in his hands and cried(he was afraid she was going to be gravely ill ) when we brought her home I would find him just lying next to her as she slept watching her , he is still very protective of her as is all her siblings. My oldest girl was home and when my husband came home he told her she cried worried about her health and the unknown , she latter told me it was the first time she had seen her dad with tears in his eyes. The other kids were pretty young and we also said it would just take her longer to learn and stuff and they just said OK and went on playing. They all take such great pride in helping Mazie and truly get so excited in her accomplishments no matter how big or small. My granddaughter is 3 and she and Mazie are the best of friends and even though we have not mentioned that mazie has ds (just because it never has really come up ) she seems to just know mazie is special. Now I'm babbling so sorry. if you can't tell I'm so proud of my kids they are such wonderful caring people. My O.B mentioned that he felt the brothers and sisters of a special need child grown up with an advantage they learn such Patience and compaction. ok what was the question again LOL...... Laughing

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ellenstumbo
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PostPosted: July 30 2010, 11:31 PM    Post subject:
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We have always talked about it, not just as in "Nichole has Down syndrome." But even in conversation. We watch Signing Time! all the time, and let's say they show a little girl with Down syndrome, I will say "Look Nichole, that little girl has Down syndrome like you!"

My oldest is almost 5, but even before Nichole was born, her best friend had Down syndrome. We talked about that too. So when Ellie was about 3 she told us that her sister Nichole looked like her friend Jennifer Smile

We go to places and she can pick anyone with Down syndrome sometimes even before I do.

Oh, and she is one of the best advocates fro people with Down syndrome! She understand pretty appropriately for a 5 year old, and she adores Nichole. (She has even said a few times she wishes Nina had Down syndrome and not Cerebral Palsy) Now we need to do a little educating in that one!

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"For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14
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OUMom
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PostPosted: August 06 2010, 10:13 AM    Post subject:
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When Cass was born and we were chosen to be her family, she was a day old. We told our other three children right away. Kolt was 17, Dakota was 7 and Kaci was 4. Down's Syndrome really didn't mean much to our youngest two. As they have grown up together, they only see Cass as their sister. They know she has DS and that it takes longer for her to learn how to do some things but don't seem to have any issues with it. Dakota has probably had the most questions about "how" and "why" but he is just an analytical type of kid and wants to understand everything.

Just a cute short story -- Dakota and Kaci have a typical big brother / little sister relationship. He does absolutely everything in the world to annoy her and she whines about every little thing he does and says to her. After a full day of listening to them back and forth with each other, I had had enough.

"Dakota, just leave her alone. Why is it so important for you to aggrevate her all the time?"
"Mom, I don't like regular sisters. If she had Down's Syndrome, I would like her a lot more."
"Nice try, Dakota. But Down's Syndrome has nothing to do with being nice to either of your sisters."

But secretly on the inside, I smiled. Smile

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Sunshine's_Mama
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PostPosted: August 07 2010, 3:40 PM    Post subject:
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My boys are 4 and 6. We adopted Sunshine a year ago. When we were waiting for her adoption to come through and when she first came home we just told them that she is "someone who needs a little extra help, but that's perfect because our family likes to help each other". After a while they started noticing pictures of other kids and would say "that boy looks like Sunshine". At that point I explained that the child had DS just like Sunshine does and that people with DS sometimes look a little like each other. I reiterated that people with DS can do lots of things, they just need a little extra help. When we have the conversation I usually point out some of the things that they like to help her with like bringing her toys (they spoil her rotten!).

My 6 year old recently said something (can't remember what it was) that made me think he needed a little more information. So, I explained that Sunshine has DS and that it's something she was born with. I assured him that he does not have DS and that you can't "catch" DS. We talk a lot anyway about how God made everyone just right and that He doesn't make mistakes. I reminded him that God made Sunshine just the way He wanted her to be and that having DS is ok. He seemed fine with that and hasn't mentioned it again.

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"Chief" is 6
"Ace" is 4
"Sunshine" is 3. She has DS and was adopted from India in the summer of 2009.

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Shelley
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PostPosted: August 07 2010, 6:22 PM    Post subject:
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We ahve always spoken about Ds in front of the twins. When Kit was about 3 and just before our first Buddy Walk was when he seemed interested - I simply said we were going on a Buddy Walk to show that we loved someone with DS - Hannah. He asked a couple of questions - and I gave the standard - same as everyone but progresses more slowly - and mentioned the name of a couple of other little kids with DS who he knew as well.
We had a ball at the Buddy Walk - family and friends turned out in great form - and I think that was fantastic because it meant that Kit started out with a very positive attitude about DS. When he was 4 and no longer went to EI with hannah (it was a family centred EI so he and I and my MIL all used to attend) because she had begun their 'Prep for school' programme - I explained a little more deeply (may even have mentioned chromosomes Laughing ) but in particular our discussion was about 'disability' as not all the kids at her EI had DS. One little fellow that Kit really liked has autism for example so I began to explain how it wasn't just Hannah and her friends with DS but that there were all sorts of differences and 'disabilities' - It sounds like 4.5 is a great time to mention it. I'd be guided by ehre though - I encouraged Kit to ask questions but when he stopped so did I - I didn't want to overwhelm him with a 'big thing' I wanted him to have accurate information but not ot feel anxious about DS> Good luck!

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THESPILS
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PostPosted: August 10 2010, 5:08 PM    Post subject:
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My kids were 8 and 10 when Hunt was born. We told them a few weeks after the karyotype came back. We just talked about how Hunt would take a little longer to do things and not to worry.

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