Category Archives: Down's Syndrome: A Parent's Guide

New Review: Down’s Syndrome

Sharon of I live for Glitter has reviewed my latest book co-written with Victoria Dawson. Sharon is the mum to a 5 year old girl with Down’s Syndrome, so her review is really important: if we get it right for Sharon, we have hopefully got it right for other parents. Sharon writes,

“Recently, a good friend of mine, Elaine from Littlesheep Learning wrote a short review of this book on her blog. I asked her whether she would be able to let me have a copy to look at and review, and instead she put me in touch with Antonia Chitty (one of the authors) who I have had previous contact with via a parenting forum we both used to use.

I have to say, I was not holding out much hope that this book would actually offer an “Essential Guide” (sorry Antonia – being honest here!). As a mother of a 5yr old with Down syndrome I have read various books over the years, and have not found that many that I would be happy to recommend to others, in fact I normally refer people to the booklets from the Down Syndrome Education Trust (http://www.downsed.org) rather than suggesting a book to read as a new parent.

However, I have to apologise to Antonia, as I thought that this book was excellent. Ok, it did not teach me anything new, but this is because I am 5 years down the line and someone who reads about DS on a regular basis. I do think, however, that the book is a great guide for anyone following a new diagnosis.

It covers a range of topics – antenatal testing, feelings post diagnosis, health concerns, early years, education, family life and more. It gives practical suggestions for things to make your life easier, and a fantastic list of support resources and websites at the back of the book. I could not think of anyone that I would normally recommend that had been missed off the list.

I was worried that the book would not be factually correct or might have used out of date information (again sorry for this Antonia – its just from experience of other books, not of your writing!) but again I need not have worried. The Down’s Syndrome Association have obviously been involved throughout the writing of this book, as have parents of children with DS.

I felt that the tone was reassuring but also realistic, for instance it says that children with DS benefit from speech therapy throughout their lives but that you have to be persistant to get the level that they need. Tell me about it! this is the story of my life 😉 hours and hours spent trying to increase speech therapy provision.

The book is available to buy now.

Sunday Night Round Up

We’ve been enjoying a fabulous weekend with beautiful weather. It is Dh and my 12th wedding anniversary too so we had a lovely lunch out with the kids – all good.
Now, I’m just catching up with a little work, planning for the week ahead and trying to work a little in advance to make some time for networking events for Business Mum Week and The Mumpreneur Conference which I’ll be attending in Birmingham on the 3rd of October. I’m mildly terrified about the conference purely because I’ll be driving up on my own (well, with Kit too) and I hate long drives … since we were driven into about 10 years ago. The drive will take around 5 hours.

Anyway, apart from that, this week I’m writing about gifts and traditions for one of the blogs I work on, plus personal finance and money saving for another. I’ve done a good update for Family Friendly Working which should see me past the conference – I schedule features well in advance and have mumpreneurs booked in for the profile slots right up until the end of October.

I’ve done the first chapter for the book on Down’s Syndrome. It is not totally complete and I suspect I’ll need to revise it as I work on the following chapters but it is good to make a start. I aim to do two chapters next month and two in November which shouldn’t be too much pressure.

Writing that up all feels quite under control. The things I can’t control are the volume of sales for the Mumpreneur Guide. The special offer ends on Wednesday, and if there is another big sales day this could push aside all my plans for a week of writing.

I’m also due to do some work on the business. I’m meeting a business adviser next Wednesday, need to do the end of month invoices and have a couple of stray invoices to chase up plus missing parcels to claim from the post office. Such excitement! Let’s hope the weather stays good so I can get all this done in the sun.

September Update – What I’m Working On

At the moment I’m just embracing the challenges of being back after maternity leave.

I’ve launched The Mumpreneur Guide with plenty of online noise which has resulted in great sales – now the challenge is to keep that up! I’m taking part in three different events over Business Mum Week which should help.

Alongside that, I’m

  • providing blogging services to a couple of new clients
  • picking up some feature writing on learning disability for longstanding client SeeAbility
  • working on exciting new book idea for Family Friendly Working
  • about to start on a book about Down’s Syndrome for Need2Know books
  • meeting Everywoman to talk about the workshop I;m running at their conference in November
  • talking to Which? about future health policy work

I’ve got an appointment with a business adviser coming up too as I work on my medium-long term plan – there’s lots to do right now.

Down’s Syndrome Questionnaire

Down’s Syndrome: Your Experiences Questionnaire

Dear Parent,

We are writing a self-help book for parents who have a child with Down’s Syndrome. We want to make sure that this book looks at the issues that are important to parents and which will help families. We want to include tips from parents who have experienced parenting a child with Down’s Syndrome. It would be really helpful if you could share your experiences with us.

At the end of the questionnaire is a form to fill in giving consent for use to use your information in the book, which will be published byNeed2Know Books in 2010. We can use a made up name if you prefer to remain anonymous.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your experiences will be valuable to other parents.

Kind Regards,

Victoria Dawson and Antonia Chitty Continue reading