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A Grandparent’s View

Our Special Grandson

As always is the case being grandparents we were looking forward to the birth of our second grandchild with excitement and general concern for our daughter-in-laws welfare and that of the child. On the morning of 18th August 1998 Adam was born. Later that morning our son came to confirm that he was going to the Hospital to collect his wife Alison and baby Adam. Immediately my wife saw his face she new something was not right, at which point our son broke down and told us that Adam had Downs Syndrome. Of course this hit us like a ton of bricks and our thoughts were for little Adam, our son and especially our lovely daughter-in-law. I think being the first time that I had seen my son so upset was the worst. That really hurt. At first you think of all the very worst things that you know at this stage about Downs Syndrome. My wife Ivy and I both got very emotional over the next few days when breaking the news to others. Our worries were for how Paul and Alison were going to cope.

We should have known better than to worry. Paul and Alison had made up their minds that no matter how their child was and; regardless of what any tests showed, it would not make any difference. Adam was their flesh and blood and just as much a treasure as older son Dominic who adored his little brother. We as grandparents have been very proud of the way Alison and Paul deal with situations and even now there is a little sister Rebecca, or as we call her ‘Bossy Boots’ taking Adam under her wing. Paul wrote in magazine issue No. 3 of his own feelings in ‘Adam the beginning’, which explains his thoughts and emotions at the time.

Well nearly eight years have now passed and Adam who has always been treated exactly the same as Dominic and Rebecca is an equal part of what is a close-knit family with lots of love. He is cheeky, and gets away with most things because of his disarming smile. He attends mainstream school with his siblings and has a one-to-one teacher who adores him. He in turn loves going to lessons where every pupil and member of staff know him. His last school report was excellent as his position in class was far from bottom, which just goes to show what can be achieved with determination, which Adam has in abundance.

Adam can do almost everything for himself, he mixes well with everyone and takes part in games and swimming, which he loves. If there is anything he doesn’t want to do he will let you know. As far as food goes Adam will never leave the table until his plate is completely empty, even if it does take ages.

If Adam goes on special trips and visits, his brother and sister are often included and they all take care of one another. And when visiting us the cheeky little devil makes straight for our large bed to use it like a trampoline or climb inside and sit there reading. In some respects Adam will be more content to play quietly once he gets involved in something. He also receives batches of speech therapy at the Speech and Language Centre every 6 months and is making great progress.

By all accounts Adam is growing up to be a wonderful lad and will definitely get all the support he needs. We are very proud of him as we are with all our grandchildren. And especially our son Paul and daughter-in-law Alison who do a marvellous job bringing up their children.

It is no wonder then that friends of ours remark recently on how good the children were when visiting them and how well Adam is doing. We thought when Adam was born, ‘Why us?’ well ‘Why not?’. If anything he has been a joy and will be given every chance to have an independent life through the dedication and efforts of his fantastic mum and dad and support of his family and friends.

Who can ask for more?

Victor and Ivy Smith

If you are a Grandparent and have a story you would like to share with us, please contact Deidre Clements on 01277 363316 or at downsyndromee21@aol.com.

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