A Brief Moment in Time, for World Down's Syndrome day

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Today is World Down's Syndrome day, and to celebrate we have a guest post from the fabulous Deborah French, mum of four and author of the book A Brief Moment in Time. At the birth of her second child, Deborah discovered that her baby had Down's Syndrome, and when her first child was two, she was told he had Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Her website is here:

Becoming a mum aged 24 was so exciting. I had been married a year, I took the sleepless nights in my stride and adored the smiles and giggles of my baby boy. Pregnancy and birth, though challenging, was wonderful and I anticipated going through it again. Then, with a seven month old baby to care for, I found myself pregnant and the initial period of excitement continued through to the birth of my second child when I was 25 years old.

This enduring excitement forcefully ceased within seconds after birth, as my daughter was brought to me for the first time. While my husband and the medical staff present during my Caesarian were elated with the news, I stole my first glance at my baby girl and froze. My daughter had Down's syndrome.

A very sad and anxious year later, at the age of 26, I sat motionless in the office of a clinical psychologist, as we were informed that our two and a half year old son had Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

There is much talk in society today about the facilities available to children with special needs. This is a considerable improvement in comparison to how these children were ‘handled’ only a few years ago. Yet understanding what it actually feels like as a parent, to find out that your child has special needs, is still a taboo subject. Not many people would openly admit that they have battled with prejudice tendencies, harbored anger and resentment, nor would they like to publicly acknowledge that in fact they have felt ashamed and embarrassed of their situation.

As a mother you instinctively learn to anticipate the unexpected, but this kind of unexpected…twice…can be too much for anyone to bear.

I wanted to write a book to explain how I chose to face these negative feelings, as I struggled against the grip of denial and its impact on my attitude, to grow stronger as a result and as a family… how we made it through.

Thanks Deborah! Her e-book memoir A Brief Moment in Time will be available for download at all major online bookstores from 8th April. Make sure you read Deborah's dedication to her daughter in celebration of today. You can follow her on Twitter @SpecialEd4mums and Facebook at www.fb.com/SpecialEd4mums. Find out more about World Down's Syndrome here.

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Sean Barber

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