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DSG: Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan Join The Cause

New Grandparents

The DSG is proud to have many grandparents who are actively involved with our organization. We think you are a fabulous resource and we are here to offer you support as well!

We recently began hosting Grandparent breakfasts on a yearly basis. We invite you to join us for one of the breakfasts so you can learn more about Down syndrome, meet other grandparents and share resources.

Please contact Paulette at the DSG at 248-556-5341, if you would like to receive additional information or have your name added to our mailing list.

Grandparent Dos & Don'ts

Do be aware that most schools, agencies and parent groups welcome grandparents. Some associations even have grandparents groups. This is a good way of keeping abreast of your grandchild's specific disability and more importantly, indicates your moral support.

Do avoid the pitfalls of clich╠ę-ridden advice. Comments about "God's will" or Pollyanna statements about things not being as bad as they seem sound condescending and don't provide the comfort you wish to imply.

Do remember that if you have a positive, tender, loving attitude towards your grandchild, others in the family will feel the same way. The more support from family members, the better the young parents feel.

Do remember that non-verbal expressions, a loving pat to your grandchild's head, a warm hug to your son, daughter and their spouses-convey what words cannot express. By the same token, pitying glances and an anxious tone of voice deepen gloom.

Do be aware of any heightened sensitivity in the parents. Be careful about what you say and remember that your most well-intentioned remarks can be taken the wrong way. Handle this with grace and humor.

Do let your children know that they can reply on you in good times and in bad. Many grandparents have flexible schedules that can be arranged to meet the needs of the grandchild. Just knowing that this kind of help is available can lessen anxieties and strengthen family bonds.

Do offer to visit or help out with your grandchild regularly. Sometimes staying at a nearby hotel can ease the logistics and make the visit even more rewarding for all concerned.

Do find the best time for you to visit or telephone. Your children might relish their privacy or be in the middle of things and unless you ask, your visits to telephone calls might come at an inconvenient time.

Don't allow any frictions between yourself and your children to interfere with your relationship with your grandchild. The bonds of love between grandparent and grandchild are genuine and profound. The relationship can enhance and nurture the special grandchild's feeling of self-esteem and self-worth.

Do be aware that there are revolving cycles of grief. Feelings of depression, anger, non-acceptance or sorrow usually surface around birthdays or other milestones, such as when your grandchild should have been walking,. Knowing ahead of time can prevent the reaction from becoming extreme.

Do remember that above all the relationship of a grandparent to a grandchild is unique, and the love that is generated is freely given and like no other. Your grandchild is first and foremost a child-more like other children than unlike. The needs of a child with Down syndrome differ only in degree, not in kind. Your special grandchild responds to your love, your jokes and games, your abiding affection exactly like any of your other grandchildren.

Helpful Links

Video
Courtesy of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati.

Brighter Tomorrows
The purpose of this Website is to provide families with balanced and accurate information about receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome either during their pregnancy or at birth.

Light At the End of the Tunnel Brochure
NDSC and the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County.

Mile High Down Syndrome "Virtual Visit"
"Virtual Visits" is a unique way to provide information and support to family members and professionals from the comfort and privacy of their own computers. "Virtual Visits" allows website visitors to stream videos of parents, siblings, grandparents and self-advocates answering questions and sharing their own experiences.

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