Nicolas' Story - A Mom's Dream

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month in America. Riding on their campaign, I'm doing my part over here to raise awareness and spread some love for people with Down syndrome, one story at a time. For this special month, I invite you to hear from my friends in the Down syndrome community in Singapore. Today, we have Monika on the blog to share her son's story. 

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Guest contributor:
Monika Anderegg

Together with my growing womb, dreams and expectations of my unborn child had been growing. I knew we were expecting a boy and in my imagination, I saw him playing soccer, protecting his older sisters, being smart, playful, naughty, funny, tall and strong and at the same time, gentle and charming. The world would be colourful and welcoming to him - anything seemed to be possible. 



With the diagnosis of Down Syndrome, it felt as if this huge and colourful world would shrink to a small, hard, unfriendly dark point and instead of "anything is possible", obstacles would plaster Nicolas' life journey. The curiosity behind questions faded away. Many options seemed to be reduced to finding at least one solution. There was no more “What would he become later in life?”, “Would he fall in love, get married and have children?”. No more happy questions, only sad things like “no” or “not possible” were in my mind and in my heart. 

It didn’t help that the hospital handed me an A4-sized document together with the confirmation of Down Syndrome. The list of additional conditions and diseases a child born with Down Syndrome might be prone to, ran two pages long with words in font size 8. 

Many weeks later, a family reached out to me. Their eldest daughter, who was a young teenager then, has Down Syndrome too. The family is very active - doing sports, travelling, and loves outdoor activities. They told me that they have never felt limited by their daughter's condition. She would come along wherever they went and participate in all activities. I guess that was the point when I started to rethink about our journey with Down syndrome and decided to focus on what my son was able to do, on his talents, on his preferences and to give him our utmost support instead of counting milestones and checking whether he would achieve them according to given developmental timelines. 

I also felt that we received very positive responses with friends who were surprisingly supportive. Friends would sit with him to paint and read stories together. They sang with him, carried him on their shoulders through events, and helped me open up and feel comfortable when we brought Nicolas out for gatherings.

I always was, and still am, touched when I observe with how much love and joy my daughters treat Nicolas. I can’t deny my fear of his future, disturbingly funny looks of people I don’t know yet, painful questions asked, but I try to give these worries very limited space in my heart. Instead, I remind myself to value the positive feelings, friendly looks and open questions of people who really want to learn more about people born with Down Syndrome. 


Nicolas featured on Impulse magazine (October 2017) for Therapeutic Riding lessons with THERIS

I have a new dream for my son. 

I see him opening the hearts of people and helping, in his special way, to build a base where everything is possible and to unite people with different stories, conditions, preferences, talents, speed and much more. Life is not an unfriendly dark point. It is colourful and full of surprises; everybody deserves the chance to pick them up in his or her own way and pace.

Life is not an unfriendly dark point. It is colourful and full of surprises; everybody deserves the chance to pick them up in his or her own way and pace. - Monika, mom of Nicolas

About Monika
Monika is a mom of three. Her youngest son Nicolas was born with Down Syndrome. She is a Singapore PR and works as a German teacher. Her family is very active, loves to do sports and spends a lot of time out in nature. 

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