(Posted December 8, 2020)

As a mother to five-year old 22qtie Owen, Nicole advises other parents of children with 22q to never give up. “Treat your child like he doesn’t have a diagnosis, put them into activities, read to them and discipline them like you would anyone else,” she suggests. “If you are offered advice or programs to help you to help your child, do it. Any education you can possibly get to help in any aspect is great. It gives you an understanding that you have to be patient, kind and never give up.”

Nicole’s son, Owen, was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. He received his 22q diagnosis at the age of two months. After his birth, Owen wasn’t able to breastfeed due to his soft cleft palate. As a result, he underwent some blood tests and was referred to a geneticist for further testing. It was then discovered that Owen had 22q.

Owen has had a good childhood. He has twin brothers who are 2 ½ years old. Because of his diagnosis, Owen has undergone physiological, speech and occupational therapy and has achieved many successes in these areas. He wasn’t speaking at age 3, but, according to his mother, he has come a long way in the last two years and is getting better every day.

Owen reached another milestone in September when he started school. He is in a class with 17 kids and has a student aid assistant. Owen also continues to receive speech therapy. Nicole says Owen seems to be enjoying his days and participates in all class activities. The highlight of his school day is riding the school bus!

Outside of school, Owen plays soccer and swims. When he’s participating in these activities, it takes him a little bit of time to get focused, but once he does, he enjoys it.

Nicole says Owen is full of life. His family looks forward to continuing to see him flourish as he learns and navigates life.