Lauren arrived three weeks early in November 2012. Prior to her birth we did not know she had Down’s Syndrome so it was quite a shock when the midwife shared her concerns. It took us some time to adjust to Lauren’s diagnosis and I think this is still a journey we are on.
Lauren proved to be quite determined from the beginning and set out on her own path proving everyday how resilient she is especially when faced with a challenge. Lauren will not be beaten if there is something she wants to do! When she was a baby we contacted Solihull Down Syndrome Support Group who put us in touch with another family The Cottons whose son Sam had been born a week earlier. We soon struck up a very close friendship which was and continues to be a great source of support. Lauren and Sam are great friends and love to play together. Solihull Down Syndrome Support Group was also a source of support in the early days in enabling us to realise we were not alone and advice from other parents was invaluable. We still get amazing support from this charity of which I am proud to be a trustee.
Lauren is a very social little girl and likes to make friends where ever she goes. When Lauren was a baby she played Bethany Tucker in Radio 4s The Archers. We decided to do this despite her early age as we were impressed the producers wanted a baby who had Down Syndrome to play this part and felt it was important to raise awareness.
Life with a child with additional needs is different and at times difficult. The lows are lower but the highs are amazing and her achievements are so heartfelt. Lauren makes us laugh and smile everyday. She is very lively and keeps us on her toes with her cheekiness! Lauren is now five years old and attends our local mainstream primary school where she is doing well and is very popular. Lauren loves and is loved by her big sister Charlotte. Lauren is very caring and very funny! Lauren loves to dance, sing and role play with her dolls. She likes Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly which we watch quite often! We are very proud of Lauren. Life is not without worries about her health and development but we look forward to watching her grow and flourish.
My advice to new parents would be to enjoy the early days and take lots of photos. Learn about Down’s Syndrome you will become the expert in what your child needs but take your time go at your own pace.