When Daisy was born I thought she was my responsibility and that I had to do everything for her.
I didn't want to get involved in any groups, I thought I didn't need to look for support, I saw it as my responsibility alone to look after her, but when she started at the nursery I realised that there are so many people that can help her, it doesn't have to be just me all the time.
I learned to let go and realised that there is support out there and so much more you can do.
I didn't know when I was pregnant that Daisy had Down's syndrome, but the minute I saw her I knew. She was born on a Saturday morning and by the evening we were told "We think she may have Down's syndrome", and as she was feeding properly we went home on the Sunday. When I came home from hospital there was no support. We returned on the Monday for blood tests, and then got a phone call on the Thursday confirming that Daisy had Down's syndrome and to keep doing what we were doing and they'd be in touch in 3 months. That was it; no leaflet, no advice, nothing; just a 3 month medial check up.
The doctor who gave the diagnosis was lovely, but it was clear it was her first time giving a Down's syndrome diagnosis as she started crying. I didn't really know what "Down's syndrome" meant, and found that it was the unknown that was difficult. If we had been advised that we were going to need a range of extra support and they there are people out there who could help, it would have made a big difference; but to be told nothing was very difficult.
When Daisy was 6 months old a paediatrician told us about the Mencap Nursery and helped to get her referred. The application process went smoothly, and she was offered a place.
The biggest change Mencap has made is seeing Daisy treated as a child and not as anything different.
I can let go and feel comfortable leaving her there without worrying; it makes such a difference.
Daisy has come on massively since she came to Mencap; her feeding is better, she is physically more steady on her feet with all the games she plays, and she is so much more confident. Week by week she seems to make these massive jumps. She has developed so much more than any of the medical professionals ever said she would and that has been because of Mencap and the work they do. Its been brilliant, and a huge support to our whole family.
Talk to other parents and family carers
70 years ago Judy Fryd reached out to fellow parents of children with a learning disability, to share her anger and frustration at the lack of support and provision available. From this, Mencap was born.
To celebrate our 70th birthday, and in honour of Judy, we've launched a new online community for parents of children with a learning disability. Parents, like Judy, who are seeking advice and support from others like them.
FamilyHub is a community to share your experiences, triumphs and challenges.
We think our 70th birthday is a big deal, and we want as many people as possible to hear about it.
Find out more about what Mencap has achieved over the years, and how we're celebrating this special occasion!