Confessions of a Rockin mom #2: Fears about Sports and AAI
In the days leading up to receiving Everett’s karyotype results, we met with his genetic counselor. We were given a list of things that kids with DS are predisposed to including AAI (atlantoaxial instability). This is when there is slippage in the vertebrae. Kids with DS are at risk of having AAI and those who do, should be restricted from sports. This touches on fear #2 — the fear that Everett wouldn’t be able to play sports. When we found out Everett was a little a boy we were overjoyed! Vic & I both love sports, so we immediately began talking about little league and soccer matches. But when we learned Everett had an extra chromosome, I’ll have to confess, these dreams were temporarily crushed. Neither of us knew anyone with Down syndrome and we both just assumed that kids with DS couldn’t play sports. We were VERY wrong! Kids with DS can play sports, but some shouldn’t because of AAI. Everett was screened last July and he does not have AAI. And now…my old fear of “He won’t be able to play sports” has been replaced with “What if he gets hurt playing sports?!??” We frequently refer to Everett as our little athlete because as you can see from the pic collage, he loves shooting hoops, kicking soccer balls, bouncing, swinging, dancing, swimming, etc.! And little brother may follow in his footsteps (he LOVES copying big brother). Or he may not. And as they each grow, their gifts and interests may change. And that’s okay…not everyone was born to be an athlete. In the meantime, though, I sure am enjoying being active with both of my sweet boys.