Sarah Palin, the former Governor of Alaska, is the parent of a child who has Down Syndrome. Her son, Trig, is almost four years old now. Palin wrote an article for Newsweek about her “Life With Trig”.
You probably recognize the name Sarah Palin. She was the Republican party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election. She was on the ticket with the Presidential party nominee for President in 2008, John McCain. Previous to that, she was Governor of Alaska, from 2006 to 2009.
In addition to these accomplishments, Sarah Palin is the mother of five children. You don’t necessarily have to agree with her political views in order to recognize that being a parent is hard work. Her youngest son is named Trig, and he has Down Syndrome. Trig was born in 2008, and is about to turn four years old.
Down Syndrome is a condition that results when a baby is born with three copies of the twenty-first chromosome. Down Syndrome can also be called Trisomy 21. Usually, people are born with two copies of each chromosome, not three. One copy will come from the mother of the baby, and the other copy will come from the father of the baby.
Symptoms of Down Syndrome include short stature, weak muscles, and stocky arms and legs. Many kids with Down Syndrome have irregularly shaped mouths and tongues, which explains why the child’s tongue may be partially sticking out.
Often, the nasal bridge, between the nose and eyes, appears flat. Most children who have Down Syndrome have a mild to moderate cognitive disability. They may also have a heart defect, celiac disease, and other health problems.
Sarah Palin wrote an article for Newsweek called “Life With Trig”. In it, she talks about what her life has been like as the parent of a child with Down Syndrome. I found it to be an interesting read.
She notes the recent news about Rick Santorum’s daughter, Bella, who has Trisomy 18. I think Sarah Palin might feel a connection to Rick Santorum, because both of them are Republican politicians, who are in the public eye, and who are raising a child that has a special need.
Her writing also describes the emotions she experienced when she first learned that Trig had Down Syndrome. She relied on her faith to help her to cope. Palin notes that she is aware that Trig will face struggles that her other children will not, specifically because he has Down Syndrome. There are some people who will act and speak in ways that are unkind. Despite whatever hardships she faces as a parent of a child who has special needs, it is clear that Sarah Palin adores her son Trig. Who wouldn’t love a child that wakes up every morning and excitedly applauds?
Image by Edalisse Hirst on Flickr