Down syndrome from a father's perspective.

Why I blog about Down syndrome: Part 1

Why blog about Down syndrome?

I know that there are people close to me that are wondering what I am doing with the whole “blog thing.” I can see it in their eyes when I tell them about Treyton’s Posse or hand them one of the business cards I had made to help spread the word. I often get a half-smile and a comment like, “Oh, that’s nice.” I find these types of responses a little irritating; I would prefer people come right out and tell me they don’t get it. Although, if I am honest, I must admit that prior to March 20, 2009 (Treyton’s birthday), I would not have had a clue. Thus, the topic for this post was born.

In the sales and marketing world, where I spend most of my time, you need to be prepared to give a complete and concise description of your product or service in about 30 seconds. This is called the “elevator pitch.” I have spent a good deal of time working on this purpose statement and feel that the following sums up my goals:

Treyton’s Posse seeks to break the mold the world has tried to use to group all individuals with Down syndrome. It is about creating change, opening doors, sharing the hope, and experiencing the joy.

Many reasons

It was not easy summarizing all of my thoughts into this short statement. As I struggled through this process I discovered that there are a lot of different things that motivate me in this regard. In fact, I find new reasons each day. BUT, as I wrestled with my thoughts, I started to see some similarities. I began to see some connections between some of the reasons; my desire to blog seemed to be connected by the audience or intended beneficiary. I found three groups of motivating factors:

GROUP 1: Reasons focused on my son Treyton
GROUP 2: Reasons focused on me
GROUP 3: Reasons focused on others (especially father’s)

If I were to try to cover all of these groups with one post it would be extremely long so for now I will focus on GROUP 2, the reasons that are focused on me.

Sometimes it is about me

My son was diagnosed with Down syndrome shortly after he was born. I did not know anything about Trisomy 21 so I was thankful for the various resources that were made available to me.  As I read through the information I began to notice that almost everything was focused on the negative; the potential health issues, the expected delays in learning, as well as other challenges.

The information was not intended to be negative, it was primarily factual.  The problem, as I see it, is that most of the people reading the books and other resources are holding newborn babies that were just diagnosed with Down syndrome and they don’t know what to expect.  I sure didn’t.  There are a lot things that a parent needs to think about when they have a child with special needs and that is what those resources are trying to accomplish.

I think that I am unique in that I did not let the tidal wave of information drown out the joy I had from my new baby boy.  I did not feel sad, I was not worried about the future; just the opposite, whenever Treyton was nearby, the room seemed to light up. As far as I was concerned Treyton made things better. As a result, a strong desire began to grow from within.  Someone needed to stand up and present both sides of the story.  Yes, there is a lot to be concerned about but there is also a lot of joy.  So I began this blog to help others see the joy but also to be able to express my own feelings.  People need to know that it is going to be OK.

Rob Arnold has been married to his high school sweetheart for almost 19 years. Together they have three daughters and one son. He earned his bachelor's degree in General Business from Grand Valley State University as well as an MBA in Strategic Management from Davenport University. He enjoys reading, hunting, scuba diving, and spending time with his family.
  1. Julie vandenberg

    I realize that I do cry a little easy at times and I seem to when I read your articles. I was trying to figure out why it is so emotional for me. I am not sad for Treyton. Cuz he is amazing. And then I figured it out….. I think it is because I am so proud of you Rob and all that you do with and for that little boy of yours! He is very lucky to have you for a dad!

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