'She's brought an awful lot of fun into our house' 

Emily was born with Down's syndrome. Her mum, Sarah, talks about the health issues they faced and Emily's life today.

"I was quite a young mum when Emily was born. She had a few health problems and it was touch and go for the first few days.

"There's a lot more understanding now about Down's syndrome, although there's still some way to go. People with Down's syndrome are now included in television programmes and soaps, so you can see what they can achieve.

"It depends on your child as to whether they can go to a mainstream school or whether they need a bit of extra help. The special needs schools have a fantastic reputation academically, whereas a mainstream school can help with everyday behaviour and peer pressure.

"If they're struggling, nobody's going to benefit from the child being at a mainstream school. On the flip side, if they can manage at mainstream school and interact with their peer group, that's really beneficial for later life.

"Most children with Down's syndrome do everything their siblings do and can bring an awful lot of fun into the house because they're so mischievous.

"Their sense of danger is pretty diabolical. They don't see danger when they're little, and a lot like to run off. Emily used to run in any direction she chose. They may be slow in some ways, but they're fast at running once they've got the knack.

"She's ridden a pony from the age of about four and competes with everybody else down at the local riding club.

"She's at college at the moment. We hoped that she'd go off to residential college to get more independence, but she said she's never leaving home, so we'll see. At the same time, she'd love a flat of her own so she can be with her boyfriend or a group of friends.

"She's had a few job offers already. One is in Worcester, which would mean moving away from home during the week, and she's also been offered jobs locally. It's a case of making sure she's happy doing whatever she wants to do and has the independence she wants, but with the background care so it doesn't fail.

"Emily's looking at a perfectly normal life of growing up, getting married and living independently. Our job is to help her get there."

Down's syndrome: Emily's story

Emily was born with Down's syndrome. Watch her mum talk about the health issues they faced when she was little, and Emily's life as a young adult.

Media last reviewed: 20/05/2016

Next review due: 20/05/2018

Page last reviewed: 14/01/2015

Next review due: 14/01/2017