COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Ali Begin is not your average 19-month old.
“She’s kind of that happy presence in the room,” said her mother, Sharon Begin, “which has been great for our family and great for anybody that meets her, which has really just been a blessing in our lives.”
Ali was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when she was born.
“We actually told the neonatologist, we think there’s something not right with her, not typical. We think she has Down Syndrome… but who are we?” Begin said.
Begin said the neonatologist reluctantly confirmed this later.
“When you give a prenatal diagnosis, there shouldn’t be that fear involved,” she said. “There’s no way to determine what any of our kids are going to be like. There’s no way to determine what any of us are going to be like at birth.”
But, raising Ali has come with its challenges, especially when it comes to meal time.
“A lot of it has to do with her decreased muscle tone, which comes along with the Down Syndrome diagnosis and just her inability to sort of work and coordinate those muscles in her throat and her mouth together.”
It’s also come with its share of joys as well.
“She doesn’t cry a lot. She’s very friendly to people. She smiles a lot,” Begin said.
With the upcoming 23rd Annual Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association Walk this weekend, she said she’s inspired by the community in her city.
“We have families… these kids especially in the first two years of life… are hospitalized quite a bit, have a lot of medical procedures… so, just having that support behind you and knowing there are other moms and other families that know what you’re going through.”