Are people with DS are all the same?

No. Despite their similar facial features, people with DS are by no means all the same. They all have their own emotions, opinions, strengths and quirks just like you and me!

Can people with DS work?

Yes. Most adults with Down’s Syndrome are perfectly capable of working within the community, although some may require a more structured environment.

Will Abigail and Isobel be able to go to mainstream high school?

High school is slightly different because the demands are different. We are not making plans so early. We live for today and there is a vast amount of time before we have to cross that bridge.

Did you know Abigail and Isobel had Down’s syndrome before they were born?

No we didn’t.  It was only 2-3 weeks after their birth that we got a confirmed diagnosis. The amniocentesis test was offered to us during the pregnancy but we knew we would never be able to terminate a pregnancy so it would have been pointless.

Are people with DS only born to older women?

No. Although the likelihood of having a child with Down’s Syndrome does increase with age, 80% of children with DS are born to women below the age of 35.

Can people with DS move away from home?

Yes. Due to advancing social intervention many are living semi-independently. Some may need additional support but this is not due to DS in isolation.

Will the twins go to mainstream primary school?

As a family we have made all our preparations on the premise that they go to mainstream primary school. They are coping well enough in mainstream nursery and as such there is no reason why they can’t make it into primary. Obviously we will be dictated by their development but we are ever hopeful.

Do people with DS die at a very young age?

Since 1990 the average life expectancy of a person with Down’s Syndrome has doubled to 60 years.

How does the girls’ condition affect the time you devote to your son, Finlay?

The simple answer is it doesn’t. There is nothing about daily life or the girls’ condition that means that Fin suffers. He has swimming lessons and he goes rugby training. We make an effort to go watching Wigan Warriors and he loves every minute (even when they lose!) The fact the girls are twins is far more significant than Down’s syndrome. Don’t get me wrong, the girls have a number of interventions and appointments but these never interfere with ‘family time’. We make sure of that.

What do you hope to achieve from Twincess?

We aim to provide frank and honest advice based on real, personal experience. We provide a resource, an ear and a voice to expectant or new parents of children with Down’s Syndrome. Furthermore, we aim to change misconceptions of Down’s Syndrome in the general public through education and integration. It’s time to celebrate Down’s Syndrome!