A YOUNG girl is helping to change perceptions of Down’s Syndrome one step at a time following the launch of a new book.

Mia Zahler, of Kirkby Lonsdale, who turns six tomorrow, features in a special book that will help new parents, maternity units, midwives and support groups across the UK and beyond to understand the world of Down’s Syndrome.

Created by a parent-led organisation, Wouldn’t Change A Thing, and charity Celebrate T21, the book focuses on stories and experiences of parents who have children with the condition.

Mia’s mum, Joanne, a primary school teacher, was more than excited for her and her daughter to get involved in the project.

“The main focus of the book is to help support parents who find out they have a child with Down’s Syndrome,” she said.

“I was 16 weeks pregnant when I was told Mia had Down’s Syndrome, and yes it was a shock. But it was also a shock to hear the doctor say: ‘I’m sorry’ and then give me a number of leaflets, some of which were about abortions.

“We want to change perceptions and show that it’s not doom and gloom at all and it’s certainly not the end of the world.

“You suddenly feel this pressure to make a decision there and then and we did struggle with it.

“But every child is unique and Mia is just like any other toddler.”

Mia is currently in year one at St. Mary’s CE Primary in Kirkby Lonsdale along with her older brother Austin, who is in year 4, and Ethan who is in year 8 at the town’s Queen Elizabeth School.

The book, called Wouldn’t Change A Thing, also seeks to dispel the fear that can consume new parents upon hearing news that their child has Down’s Syndrome.

“If we can give parents the reassurance and remove the anxiety and worry then we are doing he right thing,” said Mrs Zahler.

“We want people to say congratulations after their child is born, not: ‘I’m sorry’.”

Mia and her mum appeared on ITV’s This Morning earlier in the year with other mums to talk about their experiences.

If you wish to pre-order the book you can do so by going on wouldntchangeathing.org.