My name is Jessica, I am 16 months old and I am a twin. My twin is Jack and Jack has Down’s syndrome.
Day to day we have a great time together. We play, we laugh, we eat lots of yummy food and we have great play dates with our friends. Sometimes though Jack and Mummy have to leave me with Daddy, one of my Nannies or other people as Jack has lots of hospital appointments to go to.
There are his regular sessions with his physio, Kate, where she helps to show him how to crawl, stand up and hopefully to walk soon. He has a regular check-up with his developmental paediatric consultant, Dr Atkinson, she makes sure his overall health is good and that he is progressing well – which he is. He got an excellent report from his last appointment. He also has hearing tests and sight tests.
Jack has had to go into hospital a few times as he struggles with his chest. When we get a cold he always gets it far worse than I do and sometimes needs help with his breathing. He has even had to stay in hospital a few times. The worse time was when we were 8 weeks old and he and Mummy stayed in for a week! I did get Daddy all to myself though. I feel sad when this happens as I don’t see Mummy and Jack and I want to still be playing with Jack, but, we make up for it when he comes home!
Whilst I am walking, spoon feeding myself, can sign some words and am now starting to say a few words too, Jack can’t just yet. He zooms around everywhere on his hands and knees, crawling, and he can do the ‘thank you’ sign, oh and he knows where his nose is! Mummy and Daddy have been teaching us Makaton, as well as watching Mr Tumble too – he is so much fun!
Jack is nearly walking as he can stand up and walk round the sofa now – I know that when he does walk we will have even more fun (especially when we go to a soft play or a group and we can keep Mummy and Daddy guessing on where we will be – clearly, we will go off in different directions, it’s what twins do!).
Jack and I have a wonderful life and Jack is a very loving brother who looks out for me. If I ever get upset, Jack will be straight by my side to check I am ok. I help Jack by making sure he gets his drink or a snack.
I can’t wait to grow up with Jack and see how we get on at nursery, school and beyond. I know that we will always be there for each other, no matter what. I just hope that no one is mean to him at school – but if they are I will soon sort them out!
We belong to the Down’s Syndrome Association – they have been brilliant at giving Mummy and Daddy lots of information about Down’s syndrome and how we can get support for Jack. Without this advice and guidance they say, we would have been lost.
ps. Mummy has been writing a blog (which she wants to get turned into a book) about how we got to be in the world and our life. You can read it too: www.twinsmylifeupsidedowns.wordpress.com