The examination should only be a formality during her pregnancy. “When I was tested for Down’s syndrome, I was told that I had a one in 666 chance of giving birth to a child with Down’s syndrome. And yet it happened to me,” Vanessa Arcos explains. 44 years. In the collective imagination, 666 is a cursed number. But it is a real happiness that will experience the young woman and her husband, already parents of a 4-year-old boy, when Valentine is born eleven years ago.
However, when the pediatrician told them that their daughter had Down syndrome, the ground gave way under their feet. “We went through an emotional tsunami. At first we questioned the doctor’s word, then we mourned. I was angry with the whole world. I wondered why me? Then came the acceptance.” , recalls Vanessa. At birth, she realizes very quickly that her daughter is like the others. “She reacted and interacted like any baby.”
“Little girl, she was very strong-willed. As if she understood the challenges that awaited her”
Unlike other children with Down’s syndrome, Valentine is in good health and has no cardiac or visceral pathologies in addition to his difference. “Valentine grew up normally. She was always a little behind psychomotorally, but she walked at 22 months and was clean just before entering kindergarten. Of course, she was slow and a lot of things had to be adapted, but she was a happy little girl, full of love and above all very strong-willed. It’s as if she understood very early on the challenges she was going to have to take up “, confides Vanessa who gave up her job as a recruiting officer. when her daughter was born and who is now an author.
Today, Valentine is 11 years old. She is in CM2 in a public school where she is accompanied by a school life assistant. “She can read and count a little bit, and that’s not bad already. She doesn’t do everything the fifth grade kids do, but what matters is that she’s with them. She loves going to school and has the same group of friends since kindergarten. ” Next year, the preteen will go to college in a ULIS (Localized Unit for Educational Inclusion) within the same school group as her older brother.
“Valentine opened us to extraordinary horizons in terms of humanism”
If she does not plan for the future, Valentine learned a lot from her parents, and her mother in particular who devoted a book, 1 chance in 666 (ed. Terre en ciel, for sale on highcoaches.com / coaches / vanessa-arcos), to this beautiful meeting. “Valentine opened us to extraordinary horizons in terms of humanism. We understood that, despite her slowness, she was the one who controlled time and not us. Valentine also taught us patience. I really discovered who was the other in his eyes, “says Vanessa, who drew a simple yet profound conclusion:” Far from being blemishes, differences are wealth. ”
Vanessa Arcos © © PERSONAL COLLECTION