Qeis Sheikh

Babies of any race or religion can have Down syndrome. Mum Tania Naima Khan joins us today to tell us all about her supportive Muslim community and their pride in her son.

As always we are happy for you to share.

I gave birth to my second child a few months after we shifted to Cambridge, UK from Pakistan. Before the year was over, we were now looking forward to settling our family in Cambridge. Our new baby boy was barely 9 months old, when we were surprised with another pregnancy.

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When our first child Kush was born, shortly after his birth we were delivered the news that he has a condition called Down syndrome.

We had heard of Down syndrome, but to be honest we didn’t really and truly know what it meant for us as a family or our little boy, but everyone kept apologising to us and saying how sorry they were, so naturally we assumed it of course couldn’t be good. I’m pleased to say I now know this couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Shilpa is a pediatrician and the mother of a 6-year-old son, Neil, who has Down syndrome. She has kindly allowed us to share her story – which also features in The Mighty.

We are always happy for our stories to be shared.

I was working the day he was born. It was a day like any other day.

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Harvey is a healthy, determined, engaging little boy with a shining personality who lights up every room he enters. He loves going to school and playing with his brother and sister; and his favourite things are his toy drill and building with his magnetic bricks. He loves going down slides and playing in the garden, dancing, watching films, football and eating pizza and chocolate! Harvey has Down’s syndrome – something we knew nothing about until he was born. Since then we have spent the last 5 years learning from Harvey – he has taught us so much already about what is important in life – something that no text book or leaflet could have – he has taught us to look beyond labels! He walked earlier than expected, a week before his 2nd birthday and communicates using signalong as well as speaking a few words verbally. Our journey so far has been full of ups and (a few) downs but overall we have learnt to never underestimate him … Read More…


I’m pregnant! Couldn’t believe I was. I was on holiday in France with my family and had sent my husband out to a French pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test to be sure. He later told me how he and my brother in law had asked for test, by imitating a pregnant lady and saying, “Up le duff” a lot!

I got home and went to the midwife in our local village – I knew her as I had had my daughter 3 years previous so she was pleased with my news too. She offered me the usual blood tests and I said yes, I had had them before so may as well with this little one. Read More…


My name is Paul and I’m the very, very proud father of two lovely boys, Sam, aged 6 and Will aged 4.

When I think back to the time of Sam’s birth and diagnosis I often wish I could go back in time and have a reassuring chat with myself! A lack of knowledge and experience caused me to fear the worst, but I couldn’t have expected how unnecessary that was and how ace things would really turn out. It actually makes me feel a bit silly in retrospect, but it’s all understandable as well! Read More…


My name is Mark. I met my wife in 2001 and we were married by 2003. Lorraine is 9 years older than me and already had a teenage son.  Feeling time wasn’t on our side we added a daughter, a son and another daughter to our family.  Our family was complete but in 2013 we found out we were expecting again.

It was not to be. Lorraine suffered a miscarriage at 10 weeks. It was probably the hardest most heart-breaking thing either of us had ever been through. Read More…


My name is Sara and I am the mum of two wonderful little girls – well they are not so little anymore. They both adore ballet, they love swimming and they both want the same toy even if they have not played with it for six months. My eldest daughter is nearly 7 and a huge fan of my little pony and ever after high. My youngest really has a fixation on Topsy and Tim and anything her older sister does is of course wonderful. We are a typical busy family juggling work (I’m a college lecturer), school, preschool and clubs. The only unique factor about us is that Kara has Down syndrome. Read More…


Very soon after having my first daughter I fell pregnant with a little boy and, again, we refused all screening but had all the routine growth scans which showed a ‘healthy’ baby.

At 35wks I felt a familiar ache and I tried to convince myself that contractions hadn’t started so early, but after a long night of slow pain I rang the hospital who, as it was quiet on the ward, told me to pop in and they’d take a quick look at me.

After a quick examination, it transpired that I was 8cm dilated and our son would be putting in an early appearance. Extra staff filled up the room to make the necessary arrangements for neonatal equipment and an epidural was arranged to slow labour down whilst the baby received antibiotics to prevent infection. Even though slightly tense, the atmosphere was fairly light and the radio was playing happily in the background. We were excited to meet our baby, a bit earlier than expected but we were optimistic that all would be well.

A few hours later and following a very quick delivery Ted was born; 35 weeks+2 days, 6lbs 10oz and absolutely perfect. He was put straight on my chest and I loved him with an instant rush of emotion but something about his appearance troubled me. We quickly realised that he was blue and floppy and quiet, so the nurses stepped in to help him and I couldn’t shake from my mind the thought that he looked ‘different’ to how I was expecting.
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I’m Jade, Chloe’s mum.  I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant, and I hadn’t given the possibility of Chloe having DS a 2nd thought.  It wasn’t until a private 3D scan when I was 30 weeks pregnant had picked up on Chloe’s AVSD (a hole in her heart) that I was given a 50/50 chance of Chloe being born with DS. In that moment, I felt like my world was falling apart. The daughter I thought I was having had gone, and was replaced with a baby that I thought wouldn’t be able to learn, wouldn’t be accepted, wouldn’t be able to do any of the things parents want their children to be able to do.  

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