Friday, 28 May 2010


Guilt - we all feel it, we would not be human if we didn't. However, it is a very negative and counter-productive emotion.

There cannot be any one of us parents of a child with Down's Syndrome who does not wonder if we caused our child's condition by something we did or didn't do before they were born. It is highly unlikely that this is the case - sometimes things just happen and beating yourself up after the event will get you nowhere. You may well have unthinking relatives coming out with the immortal phrase 'well, we never had anything like that in our family' - again, it really doesn't work that way.

Then there is the guilt along the way - did we make the right decision regarding this school or that school, this treatment or that treatment. I read something a few years back that puts this into perspective - you did what you thought was right and for the best at the time. Looking back with what you know now is pointless - can you change what you did? Will feeling guilty about it make any difference to the outcome? Be kind to yourself, you are doing the best you can under the circumstances.

There was one decision I made regarding my daughter's education that I would change in a heartbeat if I could - she ended up spending four years in her teens in a placement that really wasn't right for her. At the time, I was under the impression this was the only place available for her to attend at that point in her life - I'm still not sure what the alternative could have been if I am totally honest. However, she made it through and went on to college where she blossomed and still managed to become a well-adjusted young lady. Nothing I can do now can change those four years and making myself miserable about it doesn't help.

Guilt - don't do it, you have enough to deal with already!

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