Dad’s Real-Life Insights About Daughter with Down Syndrome Inspire Thousands on Twitter

March 22, 2019 Updated: March 27, 2019

Jason Kneen and Hannah Barnett, of Faberstown in the United Kingdom, were overwhelmed when their fourth child was diagnosed with Down syndrome. But after arming themselves with a wealth of educational material, they chose to march forward with open hearts and open minds. And now, they are reaping the benefits.

"Rosie, we're going to see where Luke Skywalker lives!"

Jason Kneen 发布于 2016年3月28日周一

As Rosie grows, her Dad adds to an inspiring Twitter thread, sharing insights about the myriad ways in which his daughter has enriched his life.

“Everyone was telling me she can’t do this, she can’t do that,” Barnett recalled of Rosie’s early years (she is now 4 years old). “It’s hard to hear, but the baby is here, so you just get on with it,” she added. The stoic parents made up their minds early on: they would help their daughter to reach her full potential.

Kneen posted a series of tweets in February of 2019, chronicling his daughter and her navigation of her early years despite (and often because of) her diagnosis. “She’s curious, shows no hate, and loves everything around her,” Kneen shared, speaking to NBC News. Kneen explained that his posts were intended to share, candidly, the realities of raising and living with a child with Down syndrome.

His posts have already caught the attention of thousands of inspired readers.

“My child has Down’s Syndrome, what should I expect?” reads one tweet, beside a beautiful picture of Rosie, grinning from ear to ear. “This,” Kneen continues, “100% this.”

Rosie’s parents share much in common with the families of people with Down syndrome the world over. Every person with this diagnosis will experience an amount of cognitive developmental delay, but with an aptly supportive environment, personality, passions, and talents have plenty of room to thrive.

Children with Down syndrome often require highly structured educational environments, as well as assistance in gaining more practical, “real-world” life skills, which an increasing number of inclusive schools and educational institutions are able to provide.

"Rosie, what do you think about these trolls?"

Jason Kneen 发布于 2019年2月26日周二

“She has developed slower than the others,” Kneen shared, “but she is growing and she is clever, and she knows more sign language than I do.” Rosie is currently non-verbal and is learning sign language in order to communicate effectively.

“For me, there’s nothing wrong with her,” Kneen added. “She’s brilliant, she’s perfect.”

Rosie is enrolled at St. John the Baptist Catholic Primary School in Andover, and has a one-on-one teaching assistant in the classroom. She is the first child with Down syndrome to have attended the school. Head Teacher Catherine Whatley supports Rosie’s attendance wholeheartedly: “Every child’s learning is carefully planned for to ensure all are making good progress from their starting points,” she said.

Raising any child can be a wildly expensive project, but raising a child with Down syndrome can imply a significant financial strain. Many children require speech and occupational therapy, plus treatment for any number of serious health problems that can accompany the condition.

But cost, Kneen assured, is the last thing a parent thinks about: watching Rosie thrive is worth every figurative, and literal, penny.

“When she’s playing with her siblings, running around the house, and the family dog knocks her off her feet, she’s learning to get back up on her own,” Rosie’s parents shared. “She just completely changes your perception of life.”

“She’s happy and she makes everyone else happy.”

World Down Syndrome Day fell on March 21, 2019. What better time to salute Rosie’s progress, the love and care of her extraordinary parents, and the devoted dad’s Twitter feed that is continuing to inspire the world.


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This little girl has an inspiring message to share about her brother who has Down syndrome