Thursday, March 21, 2013

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day because it is the 21st day of the third month: 3/21, which recognizes the third replication of genetic material on the 21st chromosome.

I've seen lots of photos and posts on Facebook. What I love about the photos is the diversity of the people who live with DS. They have different skin colors, hair colors, eye colors. Different hairstyles and clothing styles. And I think that's the point. People with DS may share a common condition, but that doesn't make them the same. They have likes and dislikes, weaknesses and strengths, talents, dreams, wishes. Just like you. Just like me.

They are more like you and me than not. Yes, they are different in some ways, but is different bad?

My son has a distinct personality. He loves SpongeBob. He loves to jump on the trampoline, run around the house, and play baseball. He loves to play on the iPad. He doesn't like our big, black dog and he doesn't like to draw or paint or do art projects very much. He'll eat most anything, but loves ice cream. He'd eat ice cream for all three meals if I let him. He loves pudding, apple sauce, and string cheese.

He can recite the ABCs, is beginning to read simple books, and can make sentences out of words on index cards. He has a great memory and has a ton of energy all the time. He loves Dr. Seuss books and we read them over and over and over again.

He doesn't use speech much yet, but he can communicate whatever he wants just through facial expressions. pointing, and pantomiming. He uses signs occasionally.

What matters most is that he's happy. And we are so happy to have him in our family. He is such a light. I am so thankful he has been part of my family for seven years. I look forward to watching him grow and learn. I know he will do great things with his life and I am celebrating World Down Syndrome Day in my little part of the world.

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