Ama Tandin’s story

When I was told that the child I was carrying inside me would be born with Down Syndrome I was in shock, followed by feelings of extreme sadness and guilt.

6 years later we are proud parents; no body says this is Tandin’s daughter , they say these are Neema’s parents. Neema’s early childhood was not easy, she had to undergo an open heart surgery when she was just 6 months and we would like to thank Mr. Lee Kwangsik from South Korea and his entire team for sponsoring our daughters surgery and recovery at South Korea. She still has many challenges like hypertension, difficulties with her fine and oral motor skills, communication etc to name a few. One of the biggest challenges we parents faced in the beginning was feeling hopeless, alone and overwhelmed and also trying to manage our time between earning a living and making sure Neema’s care was not compromised.

My happiest memory is of the time when my daughter was accepted at Hejo ECCD Centre at the age of 3 years along with other children of her age. Thanks to Madam Yangree of Hejo ECCD Centre, my daughter got help and support in achieving many of her developmental milestones.
Becoming a member of Phensem brought me in touch with many other mothers who felt emotions just like me and encouraged me to think positively so I do just that now. Where there is challenges there is hope and joy. Instead of looking at what Neema cannot do, we focus on what she can and that gives us a lot of peace and satisfaction. She can follow instructions, enjoys running around and socializing, she is emotionally attached to the family and she enjoys puzzle games a lot so we have a lot of enjoyable moments as a family.

I know that Neema is different from other children and her growth and development will happen slowly and while we, her family accept and love her for who she is I hope to see the society also evolve so that every child has a happy childhood, they aren’t treated differently and they are nurtured to grown up into confident and independent human beings.

I am Tandin Wangmo, mother of two daughters and a member of Phensem. My elder daughter Neema Jangsem Ongmo, 7 years old who has Down syndrome and younger daughter Pema Dolma Chamling is 3 years old. I am a house wife.

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