The Joy of Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome (with Erin Thielman)

My guest this week is Erin Thielman, a disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force before and after 9/11. She later met her husband Jason and they have been married for almost 13 years. Together, they have three children- Alexander, Abby and Andrew. Erin was a teacher until her youngest child, Andrew was prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Erin is a Down syndrome advocate, a pro-life advocate and especially enjoys speaking to youth and young adults.

Snippet from the Show

“Connection is more important than perfection.”


A child with Down Syndrome is a precious gift from God that softens the heart of humanity.


Happy Easter (it lasts 50 days, you know)!

Erin shares about her experience with Andrew’s diagnosis, how she felt unsupported by many in the medical field, and how she finds joy living her calling as Andrew’s mom. Erin also shares some touching stories and tells us about Down Syndrome Awareness Day (March 21).. You can learn more about Erin by visiting her website at

At the end of today’s show, I read the introduction to my new book, Whisper: Finding God in the Everyday, which is still available for pre-order. We will be hosting a mini book club, right here in the podcast, beginning in June. I hope you will join us!

I have received so much feedback from all of you about my book and the first chapter that I shared with you at the end of episode 210Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is a book in which I share from my heart about the very real changes, challenges, triumphs, and joys of being a mom in an “emptying nest.” You can read that sample chapter at Ave Maria Press. (Use the coupon code BEAN20 to get 20% off your order!)

My book, You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, is available for order! Use the code, GIRLFRIENDS to receive ten percent off your order. Don’t miss out on this special available exclusively to listeners of the Girlfriends podcast. 

Have feedback or an idea to share? I would love to hear from you!


Join our Girlfriends Podcast Facebook group!

Check out the Catholic Momcast featuring Lisa Hendey and me, available on iTunes!


The You’re Worth It! Retreat for Women

Find out more about bringing this unique event for women to your parish, group, or community. Read more and request more information here.

Or find out more about having me come speak at your parish or conference.


Email Danielle Bean

Rate and Review Girlfriends in iTunes

Leave voice feedback

Girlfriends on Facebook

Danielle Bean on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Voxer

Danielle Bean

Danielle Bean is the author of many books on Catholic marriage, motherhood, and women’s spirituality, and a well-known Catholic podcaster and media figure. In all of her efforts, Danielle encourages and celebrates all women on their unique vocational paths. She is the host of the Girlfriends podcast as well as the author of Momnipotent: The Not-So-Perfect Woman’s Guide to Catholic Motherhood, Whisper: Finding God in the Everyday, and You Are Enough.

Danielle is a dynamic retreat leader and an engaging speaker on a variety of subjects related to Catholic family life, education, marriage, and motherhood. She has been married to her husband, Dan, for 26 years and together they have 8 children.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover More!

Sign up for the latest podcasts, videos, and articles, sent straight to your inbox.