When I first found out the River had Down syndrome and I did that mad frantic Google search, Noah’s Dad was the first blog I found and it made things a whole lot easier for us. Noah gave us hope and the happiness of their family was evident, they showed us that things were going to be just fine. Social media has made our journey so much easier and I am very thankful to the families who tell their stories to the world, this family are one of the best.
Over on their blog they have started a series called Down Syndrome Stories from Around the World and I was so excited to be a part of it, as you all know I never get bored with telling our story! I’m also really interested in reading about all the other families journeys and experiences, there are many to come and scattered all over the world!
I’ve written an example question below so you know what to expect, and you can catch the whole interview here – Raising a Child with Down Syndrome in Tanzania
Is there support in your area for families raising a child with Down syndrome? If so, what kinds?
Nothing, absolutely nothing at all. I’m so thankful for the online community I have found because I have nothing here, I don’t even have any family close. I don’t have friends with young children with Ds, River knows no other children with Ds, there are no support groups, no specialists, no therapies and doctors do not even have knowledge on Down syndrome. There is a huge stigma within society and Down syndrome is often linked with witchcraft or a punishment from God. I know of a man with Down syndrome who was locked in a room for over 30 years by his family through shame and unfortunately, it’s not uncommon. Babies are abandoned or even killed, and I’ve heard of nurses refusing to touch new-borns from fear. Down syndrome does not even have a name here and is rarely diagnosed.
As awful as it sounds, I genuinely believe River living here will make a difference. He is very much accepted and loved, and if others see him living a great life with a family who adore him, then it may just help future babies who will be born with Down syndrome. We have faced no negativity at all, in fact it’s impossible for anyone to not just fall in love with our son.
Hope you enjoy!