October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I haven’t talked about it much here because in my house *every day* is about Down syndrome awareness.
We don’t let it consume us – just like breathing and eating, Down syndrome is our part of our family. That doesn’t mean I don’t stand up and scream ‘inclusion’ at every possible moment because I do that often. In my own little world, I’d prefer to spread awareness every day – not just in October.
I’m not here to bash or talk badly about those that use this month to nudge folks into learning about the disorder that affects more than 400,000 people in the United States. We all need to be champions when informing others about Down syndrome. It isn’t a ‘death wish’ and it’s not something you can ‘catch’.
When my Molly was born, I knew absolutely nothing about Down syndrome. I knew one person with Down syndrome and my knowledge was extremely limited. Nothing like getting a crash course in a disorder while you are holding your newborn child. There’s no way to explain the feeling of holding your baby and having a doctor tell you that they may never walk, talk or even feed themselves.
So instead of asking you to donate to the cause or share more facts, I’d like to ask your help with a few things when it comes to Down syndrome awareness.
Be a good example for your children when it comes to accepting others. Don’t be afraid to talk with special needs parents about their child. Expose your children to those that have disabilities.
And most of all – respect that what may be good or ‘right’ for your child, may not be what is best for other children.