March 21 | Today is World Down Syndrome Day
Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder wherein a person has a 3rd copy of chromosome 21 - thus, it is called Trisomy 21. I will not go deeper into its definition. But if you're a first time reader in this blog, you may read the story of Alphonse first.
Before him, our life and our world is completely different. Alphonse came to us in an unexpected package and it is something that we were never prepared for. But, just like anyone else who was given the diagnosis, we were able to cope up - with the help of our family and friends who are there to support and give their love unconditionally. Slowly, our family no longer sees him as a child with Down Syndrome, we look at him just like we'll look at other children - because really, he is no different. And that is what we are trying to tell the world.
What people should know about Down Syndrome
- Down Syndrome is NOT a disease
- Down Syndrome is NOT a kind of sickness
- Down Syndrome is NOT contagious
What people with Down Syndrome Needs
- They need LOVE
- They need UNDERSTANDING
- They need RESPECT
I grew up in a country where there is a lot of misconception about DS. I remember we have a neighbor who has it and often, he will get teased by other children and even adults - just be because he looks different. I was young, but in all honesty, I never saw him any different. Because when he goes to our bakery to buy bread, I will talk to him casually like I do with other customers.
I often hear people say nasty things and comments about parents and kids with disability. Some even think that kids were born like that because their parents have sinned. It is surprising how society reacts when they see disabled persons. And my hope is that, by the time my son is all grown up and is ready to face the world, he will not face the same cruel treatment like the old generations had. As his mother, I fear that he will become constant subject of jokes and humiliation by other people. I fear that he will always be criticized because he looks different. I fear that he will not get the respect that he so desperately deserves.
And today, while we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, I want to take this opportunity to share to the world that people with Down Syndrome needs the same kind of treatment - JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Truly, the key is just one word - RESPECT. If you have nothing good to say, don't speak. If you don't know what you are saying, hold it.
Finally, being a memory keeper, I'd like to impart to other mothers with special needs children that keeping those precious memories of our child is very cathartic and fulfilling. I love to look back to those days and relive those moments because it helps me keep my feet on the ground and it helps me appreciate the greater love that we are experiencing because of my son.
So, here's a little something for you - a Trisomy 21 inspired digital kit by yours truly and Anita Designs.
[ DOWNLOADS ]
Worried you might not be able to create pages? My team did it for you! Here's a set of quick pages for you. Just plop your photos, save and print!
[ DOWNLOADS ]
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