Entries by Helen


Surviving sleep deprivation

The other day I wandered down to my neighbours house with my son, as we wanted to see if her chickens had laid any eggs that we could have. I knocked on the door and she answered in her dressing gown with puffy eyes and a weary face. “Tough night?” I said, “the worst” she […]


When the truth derails your plans

I had to make a very difficult phone call to my sister last weekend. I needed to discuss with her the possibility that myself and my son Oliver, might not make it back to the UK in May for a visit. I was so nervous about this conversation and had been stewing on it for […]


Thyroid health and Down syndrome

Thyroid health is complicated and opinions regarding assessment and treatment differ considerably. One thing that is well recognised however, is that thyroid dysfunction, in particular clinical hypothyroidism, is a significant problem within the Down syndrome community. It’s been estimated that the chance of hypothyroidism for a person with Down syndrome is 28 times higher than […]


Down syndrome online life

Much of the connection and communication in the Down syndrome community happens online. This in my view is both a blessing and at times a burden. The benefits are abundant, the opportunity to ask questions, be informed, form bonds with other parents, share photos, video’s, arrange catch up’s and receive support when life throws up […]

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Improving your child’s appetite

Does your child have a poor appetite? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. This problem appears to be rife in the Down syndrome community and obviously causes parents and children a great deal of stress. We know that providing a nutritious diet is the best option but what if our children […]


Natural treatments for blocked and runny noses

A common problem for kids with Down syndrome is excessive congestion in the nose and throat. Many children suffer with runny noses of course, however children with Down syndrome are particularly affected due to smaller than average air passages and often flatter nasal bridges. Having clear airways is beneficial to your child’s health, as it […]


Why the world needs people with Down syndrome

My neighbour rang me yesterday, to ask if I would sign for some medical oxygen she was having delivered for her home birth. Sure I said, no problem.  Little did I know that the encounter with the “gas man” was going to be an experience of connection and transformation for both. Our conversation started off […]


Sobbing on the bathroom floor

So there I was, a week and a bit before Christmas Day, lying on the bathroom floor sobbing. You may know this kind of gut wrenching sob, where your shoulders heave up and down and hot tears stream, not delicately roll, down your red and swollen face. You need something solid underneath you when you’re […]


Empowered women informed choice

The most pressing topic within the Down syndrome community at the moment, is that of the NIPT (non invasive prenatal test) a new form of early detection screening. The advent of this new test brings with it the possibility of a future devoid of people with an additional 21st chromosome. There are so many points of […]


Feeding issues and Down syndrome

Have you been offered support with regards to overcoming your child’s feeding problems, or guidance as to how best to teach them how to feed and eat properly. Are you aware how important this aspect of care is in relation to speech development? In 2014 Down Syndrome Australia submitted a state inquiry into speech, language and communication disorders and […]


Gluten and Down syndrome

Gluten free diets have become a hot topic in recent years and are a common recommendation for children with Down syndrome, due to the high prevalence of coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity in the community. Studies have confirmed coeliac disease in the Down syndrome population to be at least 96 times greater than the prevalence of […]


Milk matters

Milk is one of those foods that causes much heated nutritional debate and consumer confusion. On the one hand we are told that milk is a valuable source of nourishment for both adults and children, however others tell us that it’s extremely detrimental to health and not suitable for anyone other than baby cows. Like […]