Alex and his Mom

Alex is 23 and has Down Syndrome. He has been one of the greatest joys of our life (my husband, son and myself.) I know that there have been many days when I would not have made it through if it wasn't for Alex. He is my heart.

Alex appreciates all the little things in life. He has the best attitude. For instance, he has never gone out for a bad meal. (We joke that Alex has never had a bad cheeseburger!) Because he looks forward to the little things in life, like pizza on Friday, we do too. When the world around us starts getting us down, we just hang out with Alex and our mood is lifted. What a blessing! I know a couple of years ago we were on a trip to the theme park, Universal Studios, and the park was excruciatingly crowded and people were really rude, but Alex is always having a great day. My husband and I would take turns walking with Alex, just to keep our mood up.

Alex has a special gift for knowing when you need a hug. Every teacher he ever had has commented on the fact that he could always read their mood and even when they thought they were putting on a brave face, you couldn't fool Alex. He knows when you are having a bad day and he tries to cheer you. Don't get me wrong, he does not hug everyone or hug all the time, just the folks he knows and loves.

The day Alex was born, being a Mom, I loved him immediately, we had bonded over the 9 months, so knowing what to do was easy, just keep him and keep loving him. My husband had a harder job, as he had just met him. Luckily I married a very wise man, he knew to look at him as his son and think about his future. He said we were lucky, because we would have a child that would appreciate us, a child that wouldn't drink and drive, a child where every molehill would be a mountain. He said that no matter what he knew,or didn't know, he would know we were his parents and that we loved him. With all children you will face tough times, but my husband and I both agree, that we wouldn't change Alex for anything.

I could go on and on about Alex, because I think he's pretty wonderful, but I will stop here. I will say just one more thing, and that is, that one of the pleasant surprises of having a child with differing needs, is that you
still have all the great moments of pride and accomplishment. How foolish I was to think it would be any different!

Susan O'Kash

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-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.