Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Sibling writes uplifting introduction to Down’s syndrome

I love you NattyA 9-year-old girl from Cornwall has written her first book, which aims to help other children who become a sibling to a child with Down’s syndrome.

Mia Goleniowska, who lives with her family near Truro, found it difficult to understand why her baby sister Natty had to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Treliske Hospital, Truro, when she was born. Natty was born with Trisomy 21 – better known as Down’s syndrome – and a heart condition.

Her parents, Hayley and Bob, did not know that their new baby would have the condition before she was born, so the whole family went through a steep learning curve of what life would be like with a child with additional needs.

Hayley writes the award-winning blog, Downs Side Up. When she discovered notes and poems written by Mia to her little sister, she collected them, soon realising that they were the basis for a book.

Mia writes: “I love you Natty and you are the best sister in the world and so precious to me. You are so important to me and if you weren’t in this world my life wouldn’t be the same.”

Mia’s drawings and family photographs complete this introduction to Trisomy 21, which has been endorsed by eight UK charities.

“This is exactly the kind of book I searched for when Natty was born, to read with Mia at bedtime,” added Hayley. “I believe it will have a positive impact on new parents as well.”

I Love You Natty: A sibling’s uplifting introduction to Down’s syndrome by Mia and Hayley Goleniowska is available from Amazon at £5.99 + P and P ISBN 978-0-9929251-0-9

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