One word to describe him: Amazing.
Cruz is a sweet and adorable 15 month old. He is a mover and a shaker, but also is very content to go with the flow of his family’s busy household. He loves to crawl around and explore the house, finding toys or anything else in his path that he can reach. He loves being pushed in the swing outside, playing in water, hanging out with his daddy and older brothers, and most especially, being snuggled and held by his momma.
To his family, inclusion means looking past visual differences and giving all people an equal chance. His mom and dad hope that more and more parents will teach their children to embrace differences among their classmates so that children like Cruz are included and welcomed. They want Cruz to feel empowered to accomplish his own goals, wants and dreams without his extra chromosome being a road block to him. Being empowered means giving someone not only the tools and resources, but also the strength and the courage to accomplish all of their hopes and dreams!
Early in Cruz’s life, his mom felt very empowered when he began breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is often harder for babies with Down syndrome due to their lower muscle, larger tongues and all the coordination needed to adequately retrieve milk. After working with a couple of wonderful lactation consultants and a feeding therapist on positioning, oral strengthening exercises and lots and lots of patience, he began nursing at breast at 3 months old. “It was something that I wanted to happen so badly since I initially found out about his diagnosis while pregnant, and I had great support from my husband from the beginning,” said Cruz’s mom, Trisha. “Feeding was one of our biggest challenges initially, and I’m so glad that I had an amazing team to come up with a plan and we were able to accomplish something great and amazing for Cruz and me!”