The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
[email protected] 

There Are No Limits
What a difference three months make!
What a difference three months make!
There Are No Limits

My daughter Iris Natalia Castellanos has Down syndrome. I was told while pregnant that she would most likely have Down syndrome but did not get a confirmation of diagnosis until after she was born. From the beginning doctors are always looking for a way to tell you what your child might not achieve. My daughter is three months old. So far she made it out of the ICU after seven weeks healthy, drinks from a bottle when they said she wouldn’t, smiles, coos, turns over from tummy to back and vice versa, does full circles when placed on tummy, does baby pushups, reaches for toys, tracks toys with her eyes, shows interest when I read her books, and loves to take a bath.

I never knew what to expect when I brought her home but one thing was for sure, I was scared. Fear of the unknown can be so debilitating. Now I realize that my fears were created by professionals, most of whom are not familiar enough with children who have special needs. Iris has opened my eyes to a whole other world in just three months. Every day that I watch her grow and thrive I realize that the possibilities are endless for her. The only one that has the power to put any limits on what she can do would be my husband and I. We have decided that there are no limits for her (of course within reason once she is a teenager). I believe that she will make her mark in this world like she already has on my heart. She is smart beyond her tender three months of age. She has come a long way since her days in the NICU. She is determined. She is feisty. She is beautiful. She is my daughter Iris. She is my world.

Vote for your favorite story! Each month, the two stories with the most votes will be featured in the NDSS E-Newsletter.*


Your email address will be used for voter tracking only, and will not be used for future NDSS emails.
Click here to become a fan on Facebook.
Click here to follow us on Twitter.

*Votes will be reset at the end of each month.

Full Name
Comments (1,000 character limit)

Cathy, United States, AZ
10/24/2012 7:07:10 PM
Great story. Inspiring. I recently was told the same thing by doctors and Ive taken all 3 screenings to confirm. Being of catholic faith termination was not an option. I questioned myself and all those people who I have hurt, been mean to and bullied in my life. I wondered if I brought this upon myself. If it was a punishment. Its been humbling. My parishinor, Father Molina made a difference when he said that Special Babies are Angels. Now I feel blessed. You have a beautiful angel. She is beautiful. Blessings

april, United States, NY
10/17/2012 11:23:24 AM
i just wanted to let you know that when my son was born i did not know he has downs. But they told me the same thing, he would not walk, not talk, wanted to only teach him sign langue, not recite abc's, numbers. Against all of that my son is nine years old, and know's all of that plus more. He loves the computer, can run the thing better than me sometimes, ipad and kindle a whiz. he loves football, baseball and swimming. I have to say, if i believed them i would not have the little boy i do have. i would not change it for the world. my suggestion to you is to push a little to help them learn. i did a lot of that to prove people wrong, and still am doing it. loved your story. april fogle

Ericka Battle, United States, VA
9/9/2012 4:07:20 PM
This is a wonderful story about motherhood and knowing what is the best for your baby! I pray nothing but the best for Little Iris, Leslie, and her husband. May God continue to Bless you to give you what you need to take care of such a wonderful and beautiful baby!

Cheryl Castellanos, United States, CA
9/9/2012 1:36:16 PM
Iris is a thriving, healthy, happy baby. Being the proud grandma, I am looking forward to doing so many things with her and having the good fortune to be a part of her life, as she grows into the kind, beautiful adult I know she will be. Gabriel and Leslie, you are amazing, wonderful parents, thank you for the blessing you've give us all.

Sue Sloan, United States, CA
9/8/2012 7:14:11 PM
With the loving guidance of her two remarkable--and truly inspirational--parents, Iris WILL leave her mark on this world. Make no mistake about that!

Susanna Zuniga-McGuire, United States, CA
9/7/2012 12:17:56 PM
There is nothing that motivates us Mommies more than someone telling us our child is not capable of achieving what we know they will! Iris is going to do it all and more because she has a great spirit and committed, loving parents! You guys are truy blessed! She is going to rock your world with so much adventure and joy! Take it from a fellow Mommy.

jennd, United States, CA
9/6/2012 11:22:52 PM
So inspiring!

Patty Benitez, United States, CA
9/6/2012 7:39:34 PM
I can remember the day you broke the news to me of what the doctors had told you. And here we have a very healthy little girl! I always knew in the back of my mind that Iris will over come any of the negative the doctors where feeding you. She is blessed to have parents like you and G. And you my friend have been blessed with a beautiful little girl!!! This right here is beautiful to read, and inspire!!!!!!

Kristy Trabert, United States, CA
9/6/2012 6:37:26 PM
You have been blessed with a beautiful daughter and she has been blessed with two beautiful parents. Your journey might be tough but soo worth it. You will both teach each other that it's the little things in life that make a difference. Lots of love! Hope to meet her one day!!!

Jessica Quiroga-Bantug, United States, CA
9/6/2012 2:16:05 PM
Iris is blessed to have you & Gabe as parents and you guys are blessed with Iris! She will be able to succeed at everything & anything introduced to her! Having a child with special needs is a tough road, but we're strong women who will hold our children's hands tightly & proudly along the path and make sure they get/have everything they need! Love you, Jess

Dawn Neufeld, United States, TX
9/6/2012 1:53:52 PM
I love you chica - can't wait to meet that incredible baby girl of yours one of these days. She's an angel and so lucky to have you for a mama!

Victoria Gardner , United States, CA
9/5/2012 11:13:49 PM
That was wonderful to read. You have an amazing family! Xo

Jeina Dadrass, United States, CA
9/5/2012 2:49:01 PM
Iris is such a beautiful, strong, smart baby! She has wisdom in her eyes, like she notices and develops an opinion on everything she sees. I have known her since before she was born, and I know that she is quite possibly one of the most wanted children in the world. God chose the right parents to give Iris to, because like Leslie said, they will love her without limit and encourage and nurture her so that she will be whoever she wants to be. I love this child and her family!

Amy Felix, United States, CA
9/5/2012 1:48:00 PM
Go Iris!

Amy Felix, United States, CA
9/5/2012 1:46:53 PM
Go Iris!

Maura Smith, United States, CA
9/5/2012 1:41:37 PM
Leslie - You, Gabriel and Iris are such an inspiration to us. We will all continue to love and support you in your efforts to raise Iris to be the absolute best she can be. There are no limits! I will have her skiing down the slopes before you know it! ;-)

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors