Trafford Gould, born November 22, 2003 * Son of Allen and Cindy Gould * Brother of Tressa Gould, age 20; Tamra Gould, 18 and Taryn Gould, age 15

“I know this is difficult news.”

Those were the words Allen and Cindy Gould received from their pediatrician two weeks after their fourth child, Trafford, was born. In speaking with them, the doctor confirmed that Allen and Cindy’s son had Down syndrome. Cindy, however, recalls the moment as a positive, reaffirming one.

“It was actually reassuring to us,” Cindy said. “It wasn’t doom and gloom at all. We just had a lot of questions.”

The Road to DSACO

Cindy and Allen digested the news of Trafford’s Down syndrome diagnosis differently.

“Allen wanted a book,” Cindy recalled. “I wanted to talk to someone.”

Cindy’s “someone” was Dr. David Domek, a local endocrinologist, who introduced the Goulds to DSACO. Thirty minutes after Cindy expressed interest in connecting with DSACO, she received a call from Juanita Killingsworth, the new parent contact. Cindy recalls the conversation vividly.

“Juanita and I talked for more than hour,” Cindy said. “She was so honest and so encouraging – I needed that human touch.”

Days later, on her way to the DSACO Christmas party, Juanita stopped by the Gould home and dropped off two items: a book for Allen, “Babies with Down syndrome,” and a quilt for Cindy, handmade by the Oklahoma City Quilters Guild.

“The quilt reminded us that Trafford was a baby,” Cindy said. “It helped make our situation feel normal and it set in motion so many wonderful friendships.”

All in the Family

Those relationships made over the years are what resonate the most with Cindy though she is quick to run through a long list of DSACO activities and programs that have enriched her family. Among those are “Sibshops,” events designed specifically for the brothers and sisters of a child with a disability or special health care need. DSACO was instrumental in getting the first Sibshops group started in Oklahoma and DSACO parents and children have been involved in the various Sibshops groups around the state. Each of the Goulds three daughters participated in Sibshops growing up.

“Sibshops let other kids network with kids who understand what they are going through,” Cindy said. “They were very instrumental for our daughters.”

Trafford’s Path

As Allen and Cindy consider Trafford’s future, Cindy hopes that he will have plenty of choices to make when it comes to his education, employment and social scene.

“Like all parents, we just want Trafford to be happy,” Cindy said. “And, of course, to have the opportunities to achieve his goals.”

Parting thoughts

“DSACO is magnificent and is not just for individuals with Down syndrome and their families,” Cindy said. “No one needs to have a card saying you have someone with Down syndrome in your life. The organization is open and willing to reach out.”

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