Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 20, 2008

World Down Syndrome Awareness Day

When the doctor handed Christie Taylor her newborn son, Joseph, he apologized.

Despite several ultrasounds, the doctors never picked up on her son having Down Syndrome, a condition that delays development.

His twin, Jackson, was in perfect condition.

But Christie and Shawn Taylor weren’t sorry.

When they held their twin boys, they felt love and joy — about the birth of both their sons.

Jackson and Joseph were welcome additions in their home, joining their 5-year-old brother, Jared.

“From the moment I got pregnant, I didn’t have expectations for my kids,” Christie said. “A lot of parents had to grieve over the loss of the child they thought they would have. Shawn and I really didn’t do that.”

Instead they jumped on the Internet in search of help.

“When you get a diagnosis, you flood yourself with every bit of information you can get, therapies — occupational therapy, speech therapy, developmental therapy,” she said.

Christie didn’t just want medical advice, she was hoping to find others in similar situations, to build a support system around her and her family.

“I find myself looking for these families,” she said.

She’s hoping that today, World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, will help bring about a public consciousness to these children and their families.

“These kids are a part of our society. They need to be accepted like everybody else, loved by others like everybody else, given every opportunity just like everybody else,” she said.

It can be difficult to juggle a 5-year-old and 9-month-old twins, especially when they all need attention.

“Joseph does require more attention. I hope they all get the amount of attention they need,” she said.

“I didn’t have to do that with my typical children. I played with them as much as you can and that’s enough,” she said.

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