Down's syndrome: 'I wouldn't change anything' says one parent
“PEOPLE say you grieve the child you thought you would have but for me it was just about adapting to a new way of life.”
The words of Sarah Dix, 41, who was told her first child had Down’s syndrome after she gave birth.
Now seven years on, the mum-of-three explains how she and her husband Simon, 43, have come to terms with their daughter Charlotte’s condition and are hopeful she will lead an independent life in the future.
One thing is for certain, though ... Sarah says she wouldn't change anything.
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Read the Dix family's experience and meet Charlotte in today's Your Life: Your Health in today's Grimsby Telegraph.
The North East Lincolnshire Down’s Syndrome Family Support Group holds a communications group every Thursday afternoon, from 1pm to 3pm at Reynolds Children’s Centre, Cleethorpes.
The group is for pre-school children and their parents only and once a month a hospital speech therapy consultant and a consultant physiotherapist will attend.
For more information about the support group, visit www.nelincs-downs-syndrome.co.uk
What is Down’s syndrome?
DOWN’S syndrome is a genetic condition called a trisomy, where a person inherits an extra copy of one chromosome.
People with Down’s syndrome tend to look different – they typically have a flat facial profile and eyes that slant upwards. Other facial features include smaller ears, a flat back of the head and protruding tongue.
They also tend to be shorter than average with poor muscle tone and have short, broad hands with a single crease across the palm.
Almost half of people affected have heart defects, some of which can be treated, some of which can’t.
Many also have gut problems, which can make eating difficult and increases the risk of problems such as constipation and disorders of the thyroid gland.
Other physical problems include cataracts, hearing and sight problems, and a susceptibility to infections.
Later in life there is also an increased risk of leukaemia and dementia.
There is no cure, but treatment of any accompanying health problems and support for learning difficulties allows many people with the condition to lead relatively normal and semi-independent lives.
Many people with the condition live well into adulthood, with an average life expectancy of around 60 years.