Kites for Kids
WHILE some parents might lament having a child with Down Syndrome, for one Coffs Harbour woman her eight-year-old daughter is her greatest achievement.
Lyn Macey-Legge was one of the dozens of proud parents at the Kites for Kids Day held on the weekend to celebrate National Early Childhood Intervention Week.
Lyn's daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when she was one week old, and while initially Lyn thought this represented hurdles for Hannah and the rest of the family, she has the Coffs Harbour Early Intervention Co-ordination Program to thank for showing her the truth.
“The best thing we could have done was attend a Down Syndrome family get together when Hannah was 10 years old,” Lyn said.
“We came away realising that these children are just that, children, doing what other children do, just at a slower pace.”
Lyn said while the wider community often only sees what your child isn't doing, at Early Intervention they celebrated each and every milestone that Hannah reached.
“I will never forget Hannah's milestones, the day she signed her first word, the day she crawled and walked, her first words and first sentence,” Lyn said.
Over time, Lyn has become a master of makaton signing, Hanen communication and sensory stimulation after utilising the support offered by Early Intervention.
Lyn said there have been times when Hannah seemed to plateau but by breaking things down into small, achievable steps, Hannah blossomed.
“I always believed that the more work I put into teaching Hannah when she was young, the more independence she would achieve,” Lyn said.
Hannah moved on to the Early Intervention Unit at Narranga before starting school at her local Catholic school.
“I look upon Hannah as my greatest achievement,” Lyn said.
The family are now adopting another little girl, Tiana, who is 14 months old and also has Down Syndrome.