All the blogs I've been reading for 31 for 21 are very encouraging to me. Like with any child, it seems to me that just a bit of good parenting is really all you need to help a child with Down syndrome reach their full potential and find happiness. Although I feel weird saying full potential because I'm not so sure anyone has reached their "full potential" and I'm not sure what I even refer to when I say potential. I think for me, "full potential" just means being motivated and doing things that make you feel proud and fulfilled. That's all I can really ask for my children. I want them to be happy, fulfilled, and proud of their accomplishments.
A few of the blogs I've been reading have older girls (because I found that I picked all blogs with girls, go figure) that are teenagers or young adults. These blogs are inspirational because I find that they are accepted for who they are and are doing exactly what every person in that age range does. They are searching for what makes them happy and accomplished. From reading a little more, I find that it's the parents that are motivating their daughters, but not trying to force or change their daughters. I think that's the way it should be done.
Really, I'm starting to realize more and more that it doesn't seem too very different than just parenting any child. Sure, there are challenges and, sure, there are times when you worry about their futures or worry that you're making mistakes. That's just the way it seems to go. Honestly, being a parent is the scariest thing I've ever experienced. I'm still new to this. Maybe it gets easier, but I've been told by parents of older children that you never really stop worrying about them.
I'm going to throw this link in here too.
Ten Things I Learned About Down Syndrome - I'm linking you directly to #6 because it relates to the post, but read all of them. It's titled "Every Child Has Special Needs." My favorite line is "we celebrate every babies' milestones and we support our children when they need extra help."