Down syndrome from a father's perspective.

Raising a child with Down syndrome – Summer fun

Summer fun with Treyton

Now that the weather is nice here in Michigan, Treyton is able to play outside all of the time. Treyton loves to be outside – combine his natural curiosity with his unlimited energy and each day is an adventure. When I play with Treyton or just get to watch him, I don’t see or think about Down syndrome. I see Treyton. I see my son and all I can think is, “Man, that kid is kick-ass!”

Living the dream

I know that there are parents out there that were just told that their child has Down syndrome. These parents are scared, confused, sad, worried, etc. When you hear the doctor say those words, your whole world changes. If the child is born with the correct number of chromosomes it seems that we all know what the future holds (at least that how many people act). But, add one extra chromosome and it feels like you are headed into “the great unknown.”

Well, if you haven’t heard me say this before you will certainly hear me say it again. People with Down syndrome are more like those without Down syndrome than they are different. Treyton is just like any other 3 year-old boy who has the opportunity to run and play outside. He loves it. Like our friend Lauren says, “Treyton is living the dream.”

A typical day

To be honest, I am not sure that a typical day exists at my house but if it did it would be full of activity for Treyton. He tends to be a little slow to wake up so if given the option he likes to just “chill” for a bit. However, if someone is headed outside or busy doing something, you can count on Treyton being right there in the middle of the action. If going outside is not possible for some reason Treyton loves to play with our dog Petey or if we are watching our friend’s dog Treyton will try to get Wrigley to play a little tug-o-war.
Once outside Treyton is continually scanning the yard for birds (he loves to chase them), or climbing on the lawn mower in the garage, or maybe he will grab his little scooter and ride it across the driveway. If Trey happens to spot a ball of some sort it is a sure thing that he will try to grab it without being noticed so that he can let it roll down the driveway and into the road. If you have not already seen it, watch the short video I put together called “A Weekend With Treyton.” It will also give you a glimpse of what it is like to hang with Trey.

Life with Treyton

Life with Treyton is a lot of fun. If you were to stop by my house when I was outside you would notice that my shadow looks a lot like Treyton. If Treyton sees me put on a shoe he will either start to climb on me or maybe go find his own shoes. Either way, he is going outside with me.  If you are a parent that has just been told their baby has Down syndrome, take a look into Treyton’s eyes.  Then, like me, you will realize that it’s all good. As a parent you need to make the choice to raise your child just like you would if s/he was not diagnosed with Down syndrome. You need to love your child, provide for your child, take care of her medical needs, and make sure he has what he needs to learn and develop throughout life.  Isn’t that what all kids need?

Take a look at this video clip below. It will make you laugh. Life with Treyton is good.

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.