DSAM Tanis


Tanis with her brother


I first met Tanis and her parents, Steve and Kathleen, at our first meeting with our local Down syndrome group, Down Up North, when Sam was just a few months old. I often saw her after that when she would attend an older ballet class at the same time as Ella. She is now nine years old, and today her mom answers a few questions about her beautiful girl.

How did you find out Tanis had Down syndrome?
About one hour after she was born, the Family Practice doctor came to my hospital room.  He told me he had some concerns and would be asking a specialist to examine Tanis and let me know. The hardest part was my husband had gone home to get our older kids and I had to be the one to tell him when he returned.

What were some of the emotions you had when you got the news?
Nervousness and worry that I would not be up to the job. (all very baseless worries as it turns out!)

How did siblings respond to the news of Down syndrome?
They showered her with kisses and love. They are very protective and love teaching her new things.


What are a few of Tanis’s favorite things to do?
She loves her friends at school. Even when she is home, she “pretends” they are with her doing things at home. She loves anything related to Elsa and Frozen, Tinkerbell and now Nemo. She is a very physical kid and loves to help me outside. She does not mind getting dirty, so digging in the garden is fun. She is also the most artistic of our three kids and loves to draw.

What is something you want everyone to know about your daughter?
She knows more people than we do. We are constantly whispering to one another when we go out, “who was that?” after someone says “hi” to Tanis.

What is something that has surprised you about having a child with Down syndrome?
Tanis develops more slowly and all those milestones are much sweeter! It is great fun watching her develop and learn. Sometimes with the other kids, it went so fast.

What is one of the most challenging parts of having a child with Down syndrome?
Tanis is slow! There is no “fast” button – unless she runs away from me at Target! If I am in a hurry to do something, she takes more time to process information and I have to cool my jets.


with a friend


If you knew someone who just had a baby born with Down syndrome, what would you say?
Congratulations! You will never have another lonely or dull day in your life!

What have been good resources for you to learn more about Down syndrome?
Down syndrome Association of MN, other parents at our Down Up North Parent Group.

What is the most wonderful part about knowing Tanis?
She helps me to stay positive and look for the small moments in life that truly matter.


Tanis with her sister



 Click below to read all the stories from Down Syndrome Awareness Month!





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