Monday, March 25, 2013

4 days later...

World Down Syndrome Day came and went all within 24 hours, but we still aren't through celebrating.  On March 21st, I was able to go to Sophia's preschool class and read a book, all about Sophia, to her teachers and classmates, and share some pictures of Sophia, which all the kids loved seeing her from a baby till now :)  Due to a teacher illness, we didn't get to make it into Jayden's class on WDSD, but we have plans to still go celebrate with them sometime this week.  If all this snow would go away!!!!  That afternoon our play group, Wabash Valley S.T.A.R.S, had an information table set up at the public library with posters of our kids and information to share about what Down syndrome actually is and what our kids mean to us.  It was a great day to celebrate and to educate others around us and in the community about how our life with Down syndrome is a pretty awesome life!

Our information table at the Vigo County Public Library




Our WDSD shirts that we all sported for the occasion

Goodie Bags that I handed out to the kids and teachers: a Down syndrome awareness bracelett, yellow and blue beads, What is Down syndrome and Wabash Valley S.T.A.R.S. information sheets, WDSD crossword puzzle (for Jayden's class), a Down Syndrome Indiana bag and snacks (cheese-its, blue and yellow sugar cookies, and juice boxes) 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just Like You

"Anything new is a little scary at first, but once you learn more about it, you get use to it, because you have knowledge, and knowledge helps you understand, and understanding makes it easier to accept." 

I came across this video yesterday on Facebook and I think it's AMAZING!  I couldn't have explained it any better myself.  Take 13 minutes to watch it, for Sophia. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Tomorrow, Thursday, March 21, 2013 is World Down Syndrome Day.  This is a day of global awareness, for everyone to come together and let their voices be heard for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome all over the world.  Each year World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on March 21st.  March, the third month of the year, representing the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. 

It is very important to me to advocate for Sophia and about Down syndrome.  I want people to understand that even though it takes Sophia a little longer to learn new things, she is very capable of learning new things, each and every day.  She is a person.  She has hopes and dreams and goals that she works toward each and every day.  She may not be able to run as fast or think as fast as you, but she is so much more like you, than different.  She deserves respect.  She deserves accepatance.  She deserves to be included.  She deserves the same kind of life that you feel your children deserve.

Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition where there are 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, instead of the typical 2 copies.  This happens at conception and there is nothing that either parent did to cause this to happen and nothing that either parent could have done to prevent it from happening.  Down syndrome is also the most commonly occurring genetic condition.  It is true that the chances of having a child with Down syndrome increases with age, but the majority of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 30.  Today, there are more than 400,000 people with Down syndrome living in the United States.     

Some important things to know about having a child with Down syndrome are that:

- Individuals with Down syndrome are more alike than different.  They can do much of the same things that everyone else can do, they just do it at their own pace. 
- Individuals with Down syndrome do not "suffer" from having Down syndrome.  In fact, most individuals with Down syndrome report being very happy with their lives. 
- Individuals with Down syndrome are being included in regular academic classrooms in schools across the country, they are being employed for a variety of positions in the work field as adults, and they are very capable of having meaningful friendships and forming ongoing relationships with people. 
- Down syndrome is not a "disease", so there is no cure for it.  However, research on Down syndrome is making great strides in identifying the genes on the chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of  Down syndrome, and hopefully in the future it will be possible to find a treatment to improve cognition, including learning, memory and speech for individuals with Down syndrome. 

I believe that there are so many people in our society today that truly are uneducated.  We grow up a certain way, around certain people, and that is truly all we know.  People live their lives the only way they've known how to and you can't really blame a person for that.  Which is why I feel it's my job to educate people about what they feel is harmless and all fun and jokes, isn't really funny.  In fact, it's hurtful and disrespectful.  Unless someone tells you that your words, or actions, aren't right, how are you supposed to know to change?  But once you have been made aware of the fact that your words or actions are hurtful and disrespectful, and you continue to go on living the same way regardless, then I have a problem with that.  That shows that you don't care about other people's feelings.  You have no respect for anyone except yourself, and that isn't the kind of world I want to live in.  And I definitely don't want my children growing up in a world where people refuse to change to better themselves and society as a whole.  People are different and we need to accept that. 

Have a Happy World Down Syndrome Day tomorrow, and show your support by wearing blue or yellow, the colors associated with Down syndrome awareness, or wear crazy mismatched socks, a campaign going on this year to raise awareness in communities all over in support of this big day.  Most importantly, show respect, for everyone around you!  The girls and I are celebrating big tomorrow and have lots of fun stuff going on!  I'll be back later to share some pictures and tell you what we did to CELEBRATE!