Where can a new or expectant parent turn to get support from someone who has "been there, done that" when they have received the diagnosis that their child has an extra chromosome 21? The Down Syndrome Information Alliance in Sacramento has started a program to answer this need.
Congratulations on your new baby!
The emotions you are experiencing right now are likely intense. These emotions are very typical. Although the potential needs of your baby may seem overwhelming to you right now, let us reassure you that your baby is more alike, than unlike, other babies. Your little one will bring you just as many happy moments and there will be just as many occasions for celebration.
As you begin caring for your baby, or even while you are pregnant, you might find it helpful to be in contact with another family of a young child with Down syndrome. Having just experienced many of the emotions you are now facing, they can offer a listening ear and kind words of support and understanding. A Parent Mentor can also help you make connections within your community to other families. They can answer many of your questions and be a great resource for you.
“Everyone wanted to help us, but none of our family or friends truly understood what we were going through. But our Parent Mentor understood… and gave us hope. Something nobody else could give us.” – A New Dad
DSIA’s Parent-to-Parent Program matches you with a Parent Mentor with similar experiences as your own. If you would like to be matched with a Parent Mentor, call DSIA’s Support Line at 916.842.7175 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are happy to offer new parents and baby the following gifts at no charge:
- Down Comforter Package: A New Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome – DSIA’s parent guide that includes information on Down syndrome, messages of hope and inspiration from local families, and important resources for new parents.
- A Baby First – An original DSIA book featuring local infants and toddlers that shows the beauty of Down syndrome and presents compassionate information written by parents.
- Whispers of Hope – An original DSIA book featuring the experiences of local families raising children with Down syndrome.
- Dreams in Reality – An original DSIA video (on DVD) featuring local adults with Down syndrome living rich and rewarding lives in our community
All this and much more, all wrapped up in a handmade burp cloth for the newborn!
“I e-mailed DSIA shortly after my daughter was born. I was very anxious and needed direction after learning she was born with Down syndrome. My Parent Mentor responded to my message immediately with a compassionate response. She was so incredibly supportive. She even came to meet me and my daughter at the NICU. I knew nothing about Down syndrome at the time and my Parent Mentor patiently answered my questions. More importantly, though, I saw her passion as she spoke about her son who also has Down syndrome. As I sat there listening to her, I *knew* that I made the best decision of my life when I contacted DSIA. I’ve met so many wonderful families through DSIA and am excited for my daughter’s future. I’ve dismissed all the old stereotypes of Down syndrome and am now embracing the beautiful world that my precious daughter introduced me to the day she was born.” – A New Mom
Contact us to learn more about DSIA and how you can support our Parent-to-Parent Program. If you would like to be matched with a Parent Mentor, call DSIA’s Support Line at 916.842.7175 or e-mail email@example.com.