For New & Expecting Families
Congratulations on the birth, or expected birth, of your baby! We understand that your baby may have Down syndrome. You may have many questions, concerns and even fears right now. That's okay.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that this diagnosis is not as 'life changing' as the fact that you have a new baby. And in most ways, your baby will be just like other infants. Every baby needs to be fed, held and, most of all, loved.
There will be challenges in raising your child, but there will also be many, many joys and wonderful experiences. It's normal to be nervous about what lies ahead, but remember that Down syndrome is a condition your baby has, it is not who your baby is. Now is the time to begin learning all you can about Down syndrome and this website is a great place to start.
Thanks to DSAMT's First Call Program, parents who receive a new diagnosis (prenatal or postnatal) of Down syndrome can be visited by a trained parent representative - a parent of a child with Down syndrome who will welcome the family, answer any questions and help connect them to resources, information and other families. If you or someone you know has a newly diagnosed child with Down syndrome, please contact Alecia Talbott, Executive Director, DSAMT at 615-386-9002 or firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with a parent representative. Families can be visited at any area hospital or another meeting location.
Through this program, new parents are given a one-of-a-kind handmade quilt, thanks to the talents and generous donations of the Music City Quilt Guild. DSAMT also provides a "Babies with Down Syndrome" book along with other information, resources and gifts. Several times a year, it also holds a Baby Shower, in which expecting and new moms are "showered" with gifts and, more importantly, support and friendship from other parents. Fathers typically enjoy time together during the shower at a nearby restaurant, as well.
Click here to view a video about DSAMT's First Call Program.
Click here to read an article recently published in Nashville Parent Magazine.
A Parent's Perspective
As a parent of a young adult with Down syndrome, I know how important it is to be able to find the information you need right away. I am glad you visited this website and I know you will find the information here helpful.
When we were first told that our new baby had Down syndrome, we were shocked. No, this is not what we had planned for our life at all. Our dreams had included the captain of the football team, famous actor, and scientist, maybe even president. We loved our new baby but we grieved for the perfect baby we felt was to be for us.
We continue to dream. We have taught him to dream for himself. The dreams are a little different but they are still dreams. He has worked with the football team, he has been in several videos, loves hands on science project in his class at school, and wants to run for class president. He loves singing and playing the guitar. He loves pretty girls. He is a loving brother and the most organized human being I've ever known. WOW! He has accomplished so very much! He is PERFECT!!
Our son has brought us a whole new understanding of patience, kindness, love, compassion, and gentleness. I would not have experienced any of these emotions to the depth that I do today if I had not had my son with Down syndrome. He has changed our lives for the better. I feel honored to have been trusted with such a wonderful gift.
- Sheila Moore, Parent
Looking for more information?
- If you would like to speak with a parent from DSAMT's New Parent Support Network, please call our office at 615.386.9002 or email our Executive Director, Alecia Talbott at email@example.com. You will be connected with a parent in your area who can offer support, information and friendship to you as you begin your life with your new baby.
- If you would like to speak to an information specialist at the National Down Syndrome Society (Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm EST) call 1-800-221-4602 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Click Here to download a PDF version of A Promising Future Together: A Guide for New Parents of Children with Down Syndrome, by the National Down Syndrome Society, or call 1-800-221-4602 to order a complimentary copy in English or Spanish.
- Click Here to visit Brighter Tomorrows, a web-based resource on receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome prenatally or at birth. Brighter Tomorrows provides answers to questions that families and prospective parents may have at this critical moment in their lives. In both English and Spanish.
- Click Here to download a free copy of Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis, an accurate, balanced, and up-to-date booklet for use when delivering a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The booklet is the only prenatal resource to have been reviewed by representatives of the national medical and Down syndrome organizations and is available in both print and digital formats. You can request a printed copy through your medical provider or download an ePub for your smartphone or tablet.
Not sure what to say?
Do you have a family member or friend who has received a diagnosis of Down syndrome for a new baby? Are you unsure of how to respond to the news? Here are some 'Do and Don't tips for family and friends. Tips for Family and Friends.