Appreciating Gifts
Ariel’s World is the journey of a girl who just happens to have Down syndrome & where her namesake scented products raise money for Down Syndrome charities
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Appreciating Gifts.

Book review – Gifts   Total read time 3.5 minutes approx


I contacted  Down Syndrome NSW just after I got home from the maternity hospital. They were such a great support network for us. They sent me this book to read along with DVD to watch. We watched the DVD and I put the book aside. I am not sure why I did no read it straight away, but upon reading the introduction there was a sentence that actually made me start to cry

“it’s a sad irony that the times that we need help the most are the times we may be least capable of receiving it”

And that was not the only sentence that made me cry. Here is another example

“From where I sit now, I can split my life in two. There’s the time before we heard those words (may have Down syndrome) and the time after”

Gifts Edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper is a collection of perspectives and experiences written by mothers who have children with Down Syndrome. Many different mothers from many different backgrounds with one thing in common. This one thing in common brings us together so we don’t feel so alone and misunderstood. I recommend this book to any new mum who’s child has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.  I wish I had read it sooner.

gifts book review

Here are some quotes from the book  that resonated with me

“I was not religious and feared I would receive a bulk of the blame”

“Down syndrome. Couldn’t it be called something else? I hated the negativity of the word.

“The value of a life, of a human, of a child, is measured not by how much he or she can accomplish, but how much he or she can teach others about what really matters.”

“Retarded no longer means stupid, normal has been replaced with typical  and our baby is just as special as all new babies, no more and no less.”


“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:1b2) Looking back, I know that it must have been me God saw as disabled. But where I was blind, I now can see.


There are many chapters in this book that made me smile and warmed my heart. There is some lovely writing and very candid personal stories. In one chapter called Notes From The Deep End the mother wrote metaphorically about the diagnosis. She likened it to be being thrown into the deep end of the pool and learning to tread water there. Eventually she began to float and saw that she may even learn to swim and enjoy some of the benefits that being in the deep has. It was very well written.

Even though the reactions can vary from our initial shock after the diagnosis of our child, we can all make a choice. We can choose LOVE.











  • Ruby
    Posted at 06:39h, 05 March Reply

    I treat a number of children who are born with their own kind of normal as we all are, It took a number of parents to teach me as a doctor not to view their children as “abnormal disadvantaged or disabled ” but to look at each child as an individual who has its own normal just as we do ourselves.
    It is beautiful to watch the smile in a mothers eyes when she realises that each child has its own normal.

    Your blog is inspiring.

    • Raylene Barton
      Posted at 10:03h, 05 March Reply

      Thank you so much. You are right, who decides who is “normal”..??!
      It is really nice to hear this from a Doctor. Again, Heartfelt thanks.

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