When my sons were born we were fortunate to have a local Down syndrome support group that provided us with a book on what to expect as parents of a child born with Down syndrome. If you’ve read my book I tell the story of how I read this particular book from cover to cover overnight and had a list of questions to ask our pediatrician at our first appointment.
Some 16 years later and since the boys were about 2 years old my wife and I noticed that our sons were not acting like most of the other children we encountered with Down syndrome (DS). Upon entering elementary school the teacher of the special ed class noted during our first IEP that both of our sons had “multiple disabilities”. She explained that our sons had additional challenges beyond just having DS and she planned a curriculum accordingly. And when the boys were about 15 we had them formally diagnosed and found that besides DS both of our sons also are on the Autism Spectrum. For ease of everyone involved, we call it DS-ASD (Down syndrome Autism Spectrum Disorder).
We also discovered their are other families facing the same diagnosis and one of the parents we knew of collaborated with some doctors, nurses, educators and parents and have published a book for new and future parents that receive the diagnosis that their child has both DS-ASD. The title of the book is When Down Syndrome and Autism Intersect and this book is every bit as helpful as the book we received when our sons were born. In fact I wish we would have had this book over the one we received as it would have given us the opportunity to recognize, plan and give our sons a much better opportunity to thrive.
Fortunately the book now exists and will give new parents the opportunity to recognize what we only wondered and it will serve as a resource for doctors, educators and everyone involved in the life of a child diagnosed with DS-ASD to progress and thrive and every opportunity at a fulfilling life.
I hope you will share this information with those that need it, they will thank you forever!