Down syndrome

New parents

Download the New Parent Resource Back to top

The New Parent Resource is a booklet designed specifically for parents and families with a new baby who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. This booklet will help you understand what Down syndrome is, and what it means in the real world. It includes stories from families around Australia and it has the latest information on everything from dealing with well-meaning people to finding support in your part of the country.

Download the new parent resource

New Parent Support Back to top

Many new parents value contact with another parent who has been through a similar experience. The State and Territory Down syndrome associations provide support, information and local linkages to other families. Personal visits to families at home or in metropolitan hospitals are often also available.

All families are offered phone support from their local office (or call 1300 881 935) and can be put in contact with a family in their area. New parent information packs are provided free to all new families and your local Down syndrome association will let you know about the next ‘Welcome’ event in your area.

For new parent support please contact your local association.

The Better Start information may also be of use to you.

Ongoing support Back to top

Ongoing support is always available for parents, whether they are new or a parent/carer to an older child or person with Down syndrome who may want to talk to someone about a particular current issue they may be facing (starting school, specific health issues, adult support issues such as employment, accommodation and life planning). Find your local association and contact us with any questions that you may have.

Peer support Back to top

A number of studies of the experiences of families suggest that despite the very real demands of life with a child with a disability, families can and do make the adjustment, often with little disruption to family life. Families generally find their feet and continue leading their regular lives, incorporating the additional needs of their child with Down syndrome into their family circumstances.

Families often find talking to other parents of a child with Down syndrome helpful and the national network of peer support groups provides a great opportunity to get together with other families, share ideas and experiences and meet new friends. Attending a local group is also a great way to share information about services and facilities in your area. There are many local support groups throughout the country.

You may also like to visit the My Time website for information about meeting other families of children with disability.

Parenting a child with Down syndrome - in the media Back to top

Podcast on ABC Radio

What does Down Syndrome Australia want us to know about life with Down syndrome? How different is it to be the parent of a child with Down syndrome? Catherine McAlpine is the previous Chief Executive Officer of Down syndrome Australia, and also a mum to three teenage boys, one of whom has Down syndrome. In this podcast she tells her story of being a mum and dealing with the complexity that Down syndrome has brought to her family life. Catherine would like us all to know on World Down syndrome day that a diagnosis of Down syndrome is not all bleak or an impossible challenge, being a mum of a child with Down syndrome is not that different to being the mother of any other child.. it has the same ups and downs that we have all learned to live with as parents. Follow this link to read more and listen to Catherine on ABC Babytalk, or click here to download the interview as an .mp3 (39.7 MB).