The month is already halfway over and this is the first I’ve posted about it being Down Syndrome Awareness month! Shame on ME! Well, don’t worry, to make up for it, I’ll be posting more on the subject on Monday. I just love every sweet, sweet person I know who has DS. And because my heart has recently just become attached to the DS community, I want to share with you some great blogs I’ve recently found that give you a glimpse into the life of parenting a child with Down Syndrome. Here ya go – make sure to check them each out!
I also wanted to share just this quick fact section from the National Association for Down Syndrome website about the learning and development of people with Down Syndrome (READ IT!!) I may bold some really important parts for you.
Learning & Development
It is important to remember that while children and adults with Down syndrome experience developmental delays, they also have many talents and gifts and should be given the opportunity and encouragement to develop them.
Most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate impairments but it is important to note that they are more like other children than they are different. Early Intervention services should be provided shortly after birth. These services should include physical, speech and developmental therapies. Most children attend their neighborhood schools, some in regular classes and others in special education classes. Some children have more significant needs and require a more specialized program.
Some high school graduates with Down syndrome participate in post-secondary education. Many adults with Down syndrome are capable of working in the community, but some require a more structured environment.
Did you learn anything? I hope so!! The moral of the story is, people with DS are more like “typical” people (I hate to classify myself as “normal” so I’ll say “typical”) than we generally perceive them to be. So it’s time to change our thinking.
Now, for your tearjerker moments of the day! Thanks to Bridgett from Savings Lifestyle Dayton for sending me this link about a high school soccer team who started their team manager, who has DS in a game and cheered him on. The pictures are amaz-zee-ing!
And finally, this video is about 15 minutes long, but it is an amazing story of a father’s struggle to accept his daughter with Down Syndrome. And when he does accept his child was perfect just the way she was born, he goes to great lengths to show his pride in her. I hope you watch it! But in case you don’t I want to tell you what he said was his GREATEST fear for his daughter. His greatest fear is that someone will call her retarded.
I have not been able to get that out of my head in the two weeks since I saw the video. I hope you’ll remember that as well.
Think about these parents, these awesome kids, and the adults with DS you know in your community as you read and enjoy all these links. And make an effort to get to know some DS families in your community if you haven’t already! You will learn so much from them. And maybe fall in love a little!
Oh, and don’t forget about the event my friend Emily is having this weekend to raise money for the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer! Details are here, and she will ship for free if you can’t attend or live out of town. So shop for a cause!!