Is it really that easy when you have a child with additional needs?
The school holidays can sometimes be very stressful for a child with Downs Syndrome. The ‘routine’ that school life brings, makes a child with DS feel secure, knowing that they can anticipate what is going to happen next (the next hour / day / week etc). When this structure is removed and what usually happens on a Wednesday is suddenly completely different, this can be very unsettling.
It can also be quite a challenging time for parents and carers. You are never fully relaxed when you are looking after a child with DS and always need to have your eyes on them (as I recently discovered when I took my eyes off my son for literally 5 seconds when in a large department store and in that time he saw his opportunity to run off, get into a lift, go down to the ground floor, run around a bit more, then go back to the 1st floor via the stairs! Leaving me is full, 100% state of panic mode – his explanation for doing this was ‘he wanted to go in the lift’!!!!
Most children with DS are also very sociable and given half the chance will talk to anyone (which is quite charming most of the time). School works with our children to help them understand the concept of ‘Stranger Danger’ however its a very difficult concept to accept, when you are wired to be naturally inquisitive and friendly.
Having said all of this, our children can help us relax.
They have a truly amazing way of appreciating the smallest things. Things we may miss in our normal, busy lives – a tiny spec of glitter on the pavement, a cloud in the shape of a butterfly, a funny picture in a newspaper. For this we should be grateful.
Enjoy your Summer.
Appreciate the small things.