Strength | 321 Days of Acceptance | GiGi’s Playhouse

If you are new to Down syndrome we are going to share a secret with you…..strength is a huge part of this diagnosis.


Meet Vanessa, Day 168 of 321 Days of Acceptance. We are going to learn a bit about her strength & the strength she has given those who love her.

GiGi's Playhouse

Individuals with Down syndrome hold an amazing amount of strength? You see, what takes no real thought or planning for many us requires WORK for a kiddo or adult with Down syndrome. From gross motor planning that is needing to sit up, roll over, crawl & walk to engaging the over 400 muscles needed to speak. People with Down syndrome work hard at every one of these things! While the time line may look a litter different none of these things are impossible!

Today we are happy to introduce you to Vanessa from GiGi’s Playhouse-Syracuse! Little Vanessa is full of smiles and laughs and keeps everyone she meets in complete awe. Her eyes light up when she sees her family. She found her toes about 2 months ago and has been in love with them ever since!! We welcome her mom to the #gigisblog today to share a bit about her mighty little lady!



Vanessa was my 4th pregnancy and my 3rd child. So already, she was a special rainbow baby. Once she was born and cleaned up, they had her bundled up and brought her so I could see the angel I waited 9 months to meet. I laid eyes on my new daughter and my first thought was, “oh my gosh, she has Down syndrome.” I did not get tested while I was pregnant, simply because I forgot to inquire with the doctor about it and missed the chance. It didn’t matter because I loved her REGARDLESS!! Later that day, her pediatrician and two nurses came in my room and confirmed my suspicions. I cried for my baby. I cried because her life would be different and I didn’t want that for my baby. I acted like I was facing a tragedy, something so devastating.

Soon after she was diagnosed, a friend had put me in contact with a mother who has a daughter with Trisomy 21. She congratulated me like I was a part of this hidden awesome club. After speaking with her and Vanessas father, I calmed down and I let go of the fears.

I looked at my baby and just loved her.

I made the appointments, had some awesome support t-shirts made and showed her off as much as I could! She changed my life for the best, and I love ever single one of her chromosomes.

So as I said I got in gear and made the appointments. We went to the genetics doctor to learn more. We started Early Intervention when she was 2 months old. She has Physical Therapy twice a month and she has really learned so much!


GiGi's Playhouse She is a little behind on her milestones but the greatest thing about this is watching my girl TRY! She’s is trying and that’s the greatest thing to watch her do. She tries crawling, she hasn’t gotten it yet and she is pretty small for her age but she tries! She tried rolling over for the longest and she has just mastered that skill! She knows, she sees and despite low tone, she tries! With my help, her therapists help & purposeful programs at GiGi’s Playhouse.….. she will master what she wants to do!

So, the amazingness of her “difference” is celebrating the milestones that much more because I know she really had to work for it! I’m so excited to see her work, learn and grow more!!!!!! ~ Vanessa’s mom, Jackie.



Thank you for sharing your strong little lady with us!


Do you have a story to share? We want to hear from you, please email Heather at to learn more!



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1 Comment

  1. Achal on September 27, 2017 at 5:20 am

    She is beautiful and so is her Mom! May god bless you. Thanks for writing this wonderful blog. Felt good reading it.

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