Whānau & Friends

The arrival of a baby with Down syndrome can have a significant impact on the parents, but also on their wider whānau and friends.

The way the child steps into its community heavily depends on the reaction and support from whānau and friends.

Parents of babies with Down syndrome will experience different levels of shock and grief when they first meet their baby and a warm welcome by family and friends can do wonders to help parents to look past the disability and see the little person.

Whānau and friends often find it hard to find the right words, especially at the beginning, so if you are concerned or want some advice, please reach out to your local NZDSA representatives, local support groups or the variety of Facebook groups in New Zealand.

Every new parent and every new child needs the support and the love of their whānau and friends and people with Down syndrome are no different.

As your child grows up it is important to see the person first, not the condition, and find out what their passions are.

Be their friend, walk alongside them, teach them and give them a helping hand, but only when required, until the person can develop their own skills.

This section will provide some generic information on Down Syndrome and link you to stories about whānau, friends and siblings living with a person with Down syndrome. These will hopefully provide useful information and inspiration about what our people are able to achieve.

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