Friday, 8 January 2016

From the horse's mouth

Tell It Right, Start It Right.

You’ve probably heard of it. It’s the accredited training course run by the Down’s Syndrome Association for midwives and other health professionals. There’s a clue in the title as to what it’s all about – delivering the news that your child has Down’s syndrome in the best way possible. 

This is for anyone involved in the process from pre-natal screening through to midwives, junior doctors, consultant paediatricians, health visitors, therapists, etc.
Part of the day includes time for parents to share their story; their experience. This always goes down well and is invaluable for those in the medical profession to get some feedback from the parent’s side.

Today we’ve been involved in Tell it Right, Start it Right training in our local hospital. It’s been great. A room full of people and much banter and learning along the way.

Probably the best part of the day though was when Emily got her chance to talk. Oh yes, as well as having parents speak there’s also room for someone with Down’s syndrome to have their say. With a few photos on screen as visual prompts and me asking some basic questions, Emily shared with the room about her life, what she does, what she likes, etc.

She was fab! Not an ounce of nerves, she just stood there, nonchalantly, with her hands in her pockets and got on with it. When I got to the end of my questions and asked her if there was anything else she’d like to say (expecting her to say “no”) – Emily said “yes” and went on for a bit longer about how fantastic her life is, finished it with “that’s it, thanks for listening” and went off to re-take her seat to rapturous applause.

There really is no better way to tell it, than straight from the horse’s mouth!

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