Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society


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Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society

667 US-51 Suite C
Ridgeland, MS 39157
601-385-DOWN (3696)

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Stewart, Caitlyn


When Caitlyn was born with Down syndrome, I was worried about her health more than the Down syndrome. She had a heart defect, and as a new parent not knowing what to expect, it was unsettling.

She had two heart surgeries, but I was assured by her doctors that the success rate was 97-100%. As expected, she did well, and has been a healthy child other than a hospitalization for pneumonia once. But even “typical” children get pneumonia, right?

Time solves many worries and challenges. Caitlyn is entering kindergarten as a nearly 5-year-old in the fall and still has many more years of school, but getting started right before her 2nd birthday gave her a great head start. When she first moved from the nursery to a regular Sunday School class at church, I knew she had more experience in a classroom setting than the typical kids in the room.

At four, Caitlyn is doing many of the things that any other child does.

A truth often said is that the people of Mississippi are very generous. There have been many programs that help Caitlyn. CMDSS, funded through the generosity of Mississippians, was great for connecting us with other families with young children that were experiencing similar issues. More help came from lots of sources – whether it be the Medicaid program that helps defray the cost of healthcare to the tuition-free schooling she initially received first at the Little Light House, and later at Madison County Preschool. They all made life a little easier and were much appreciated.

At four, Caitlyn is doing many of the things that any other child does. She understands everything we say, attends school, and loves dressing up as a Disney princess. I never realized that she could have such a great sense of humor – she loves to kid you. She loves to clean the house and knows the controls of an iPad as well as any adult.

When we found out our little girl could have Down syndrome, I never thought of praying for her to be different. Prayers were said to have the strength to handle it. God puts people in Caitlyn’s path as part of His answer to provide that strength.

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