User’s Voice

Users’ Voices – We are so happy with this handbook

Translated by
Tetsuya & Suzanne Saito
Chisato Saida
Mikako Hirano

This handbook was created by those who have gone through similar experiences as me.  This fact alone was a big relief to me.

When my daughter was born with Down syndrome, I realized that I knew nothing about it and that was my biggest worry. She was my first child and I was already uneasy enough about the experience of raising a child.  I wondered if it would be much harder to raise a child with Down syndrome and if it would require much more work to do.  I was not sure if I had the capacity to handle this challenge.  I was just afraid.

Then I started searching the Internet and came across the term Souki Ryouiku (Early Intervention Services).  The importance of Souki Ryouiku was addressed many times, but I was not sure what it was, what I should do and where I could get advice about it.  I was filled with so many questions.  The more I searched, the less sure and the more worried I felt.
If I had known about this handbook at that time, it would have been such a relief.

The information about Oya No Kai (Parent Support Group), the stories of other parents who returned to work after having a child with Down syndrome and the messages from experienced parents … all of these can greatly ease our worries.
When we feel anxious, what we most need to hear are the comments and the opinions of more experienced mothers who have successfully brought up children with Down syndrome.  These are what cheer us up the most. That was the case with me.

We can record our kids’ development in the latter parts of this handbook.  The items are carefully chosen and presented with consideration for parents of children with Down syndrome.  While we often end up sighing in disappointment when looking at the ordinary Boshi Techou (Mother and Child Handbook), we can enjoy filling in the blanks of this handbook.

The size and the thickness of this handbook are also convenient.   The support book provided from my city is pretty thick and heavy, and not suitable to carry around. However, we need the records of our kid’s development on many occasions such as when they go to a Ryouiku facility, start rehabilitation, or enter a nursery school.

This handbook is very convenient and helps us a lot in such cases.

I just wish I had had this handbook when I gave a birth to my daughter.

I hope that one day anyone can get access to this handbook so that they can relax and be positive about raising a child with Down syndrome.

I really appreciate this handbook, which was created according to the wishes of experienced mothers and which is full of their useful ideas.

I also hope that this handbook will serve as a model for other versions of handbooks for children with other kinds of special needs and their mothers.

I’m sorry that I have written too much.  However, I can write more and this shows how wonderful this handbook is!!

I would like to thank all the people who put their energy and time into creating this handbook.  I feel so much love and warmth in every single page of this handbook.

With “+Happy – The Seeds of Happiness”

Three days after my baby was born, I was told that he might have Down syndrome.

I couldn’t believe that and I was in profound despair, thinking that I gave birth to a challenged baby.  I knew the word “Down syndrome” and had some vague ideas about it.  However, I had not had any experience interacting with children with the syndrome and the expression “intellectual disability” stuck into my heart and I felt overwhelmed by unknown worries and anxieties.

Deciding to face the reality when my first shock softened a little, I started gathering information and other people’s experiences from books and blogs.  In this information-oriented society, just by searching for “Down syndrome” on the Internet, I could gain an enormous amount of information. What was common in all the parents was the fact that they love their kids.  

Well, kids are adorable even though they have Down syndrome. I looked at my own baby and realized that he was really cute.  I hadn’t realized such a simple fact.  I was shocked that my kid had Down syndrome, maybe because I myself had a prejudice against it.

I got to know this handbook when my baby was 4 months old.

This handbook contains a lot of messages from experienced parents and siblings whose family members have Down syndrome.  These messages make us realize that children are happy and lovely even if they have the syndrome.  All the information I gathered over time through the Internet was in this one handbook.

We can record our child’s development in the parts called Record of Growth and Development and Developmental Milestones of this handbook.  We tend to compare our own kid’s development with others’ whether they have a handicap or not. We check if our kids can do certain things at a certain age in an ordinary Boshi Techou (Mother and Child Handbook) given by municipal offices.  We also record our kids’ heights and weights to draw a graph of their development in the Boshi Techou. Children with Down syndrome develop at a slower pace and their development stays behind compared to the standard rate.  It makes their mothers feel a sense of inferiority.  Also, children with Down syndrome often have various complications and their development varies among children with the syndrome, too.  So it is very important for parents to look after and encourage their own kid’s development only.

The contents and the structures of this handbook are considerate for the feelings of mothers and other family members of children with Down syndrome.

They have experienced and overcome similar hardships.  They all love their kids and they are happy like everyone else.  Knowing about other parents’ experiences and feelings was such a big relief for me. This handbook is filled with such moving thoughts and considerations.  I wish that this handbook would reach everyone who needs it, and I wish that lots of seeds of happiness would bud and bloom.