Parent Help

Sharing experiences is often a great way to help 'new parents' of a child with Down's syndrome. Below some of our members have shared their experience/story. If you would like to share your story to help others, please email

Emma's Story

I have always had a delayed reaction to BIG NEWS!! When Emma was born, I remember thinking, "Hmmm, so this Doctor chap thinks she may have Down's Syndrome, but hey ho, I’m just glad my little first born baby is here - happy, safe and well." I wasn’t one of those mums who was too worried about what Down's Syndrome meant, the medical issues going forward, school issues and what the future might hold. I just got on with having a beautiful baby girl. Maybe I was burying my head in the sand, just a little bit!

Six months down the line, I realised that I may benefit by knowing a bit more about this world of special needs that we had entered. I decided to start meeting some other people who had children with Down’s and other special needs. The Health Visitor very kindly accompanied me to a local group and I think my journey really started then. I met some families in those first few visits who, little did I know, were to become long lasting friends, and I was introduced to an amazing support group - 21&Co.

21&Co has since become a massive part of my life and I was so lucky to have been welcomed so warmly by the then Trustees. After becoming a stay at home mum and giving up my career to care for Emma and her 2 sisters, it gave me a chance to feel I was giving something back to the world again and that I could make a real difference! Tatty (my co-chair) has become the most amazing friend and I am sure many of you who know us can see that we run 21&Co with a passion. We know and understand first-hand how important a support network is to families. And now, I love meeting new parents, especially those with babies – helping them in those tricky early stages and perhaps giving them some hope that life will not all be medical appointments and EHCP worries. But there is an amazing community of families to meet, friends to make and gorgeous babies, children and young people with Down's syndrome to hug!! Emma continues to grow into a lovely young woman, happy, loved so much by her sisters and by us – someone who brought us into this incredible community!

Louise Beattie