My name is Sarah Rogers, I am an entreprenuer, business coach and market researcher. I adore my family, cooking and being creative! My family is made up of Gary (my incredible husband); Calla, my gorgeous 8 year old girl and Oliver my 6 year son, who happens to have Down Syndrome.
When did you become a mom for the first time?
My daughter was the best Valentines day gift a girl could ever get! She arrived on 14 February, 2011 at 11:40pm. She was born with deep rich beautiful red hair!
When did you find out your child’s diagnosis?
We found out about Olivers diagnosis at our 6 month anatomy scan. Everything else had come back clear other than the absence of a nasal bone. This put us in the high risk category for Down Syndrome. We elected for no further tests as we were not going to ask on any of the results. So’, the waiting game begun! Ollie came at 38 weeks and we received the diagnosis in the delivery room a few hours after he was born.
What is the hardest part about being a mom of a child born with Down Syndrome?
I think for us, it is that Ollie gets frustrated because he cannot communicate with us as effectively as he would like! He struggles to plan out what he wants to say and it is difficult for him! We have been working really hard on his communication skills using Makaton (when he was younger) and now we trying increase his vocabulary through singing and helping lengthen his sentences. He is such a warrior. He never stops trying!
What do you do just for you?
I am very focused on making sure that Gary and I get time together, just the two us. This is so important to me. But I am also focused on making sure that I get some alone time. Whether that be a quiet walk on the beach, going away on a girls weekend or just being at home. I know that caregiver burnout is so real, that I make sure that I am looking after myself properly. If my tank is full then I know that my marriage, my family and my business prospers because of that.
Favorite guilty pleasure?
Coffee and chocolate for sure! You will always find me with a coffee in hand!
If you had to pick the soundtrack for your life what would it be?
Right now it would the intro to Paw Patrol or Baby Shark (played on repeat). No seriously, we often have worship music playing to remind us that God’s hand is always over us as a family and over the future of our children.
What is the kindest thing that someone has ever done for you?
Love us for who we are; without judgement! We are so lucky to belong to a community of friends who take us as we are!
What does Down Syndrome Awareness Month mean to you?
To be able to educate people that Down Syndrome is just a part of Oliver and that it doesn’t define him or his potential! I want him to be given the same opportunity that my daughter is given. Not held back by negative or incorrect perceptions! We have come such a long way in just 6 years!
If you could change one thing in the world to make it an easier and better place for your child, what would it be?
wow, that is a tough question! Don’t be scared to get know us or someone that is different to you! Be open to asking questions (to us) about Down Syndrome and get to know Ollie. You might find we are more ‘normal’ than you think! I absolutely love having conversations with other kids about Down syndrome and why it might take Ollie a little bit longer to learn new things. Parents don’t need to feel embarrassed or stop their children from asking the questions at all. We love it, it gives us a chance to educate, to change perceptions and to challenge belief systems around Ollie’s diagnosis.