Anna is a beautiful, creative, funny, smart and artistic little girl. She is 8 years old, loves her family, her friends, clothes, dancing, music, dolls and art. She wants to be a fashion designer someday and is considering being an artist or writer on the side. She loves exploring on the beach and finding new treasures. Her teacher calls her the “Oyster” because every time she opens her mouth, a pearl of wisdom comes out! She loves girl time with mom, so we go out on girl dates together and she will chat endlessly about whatever topic springs to mind while I laugh and am constantly inspired by the tales she can tell.
Anna is also Noah’s big sister. His role model. He adores her and she adores him. They sometimes drive each other crazy. She locks him out of her room regularly and he will rebel by stealing her stuff and hiding it around the house. Much to her dismay, he often forgets his hiding places and it can take weeks for things to be found again! She loves to dress him up. He loves to do jigsaws with her. They love to jump on the trampoline, to sing and dance together, music is their shared passion as is watching TV, although a lot of that time is spent fighting over the remote!
Anna knows her brother has Down Syndrome and she will talk openly about it. She will tell you that it takes him longer to learn things because he has Down Syndrome. That he needs some extra help but he is very clever and when he gets the help he needs, he can do what everybody else can do.
She is as included in his therapy and learning as she wants to be. We have never made a huge deal out of the fact that Noah has a learning disability. We teach her that diversity is a central part of life and she enjoys teaching him and being part of his success. She is very proud of him, she shows him off to her friends and loves that people warm to him and find him so clever or so cute. She recognises that he works hard and she high fives him when he gets things right. She will get sad sometimes that he cannot talk the way other little boys can talk. We listen to her concerns, I tell her I feel sad about that too and its OK to feel that way.
But for the most part, Anna does not spend a lot of time thinking about Down Syndrome. It’s not a big deal for her right now. She is much more concerned about what we’re doing at the weekend, whether the girl next door is available for a playdate or whether she can convince me to stop in Claire’s on the way home to check out some jewellery!
Anna asked me if she can contribute to Noah’s page with an interview. We came up with the below questions together but she has written all the answers, they are unedited. Meet Anna ……
Anna, tell me a little bit about your family?
I have an amazing family. We do so many things together and I don’t care that they’re sometimes crazy, at least they’re not boring.
Are you and your brother good friends?
Sometimes, I guess but sometimes he can be very cheeky like this one time he messed up all of my room, refused to say sorry, AND would not tidy-up!
What is your brother like?
He is a good boy (normally!) he is also very clever and he’s very sweet in general.
What do you like to do together?
We like to listen to music together (especially when it’s the spice girls) and we like to dress him up in my clothes to pretend he is a girl!
What do you argue about?
Well that’s a pretty tough question because we argue about a lot of things but I’ll only name the basics. Number 1: when he hides my stuff and then forgets WHERE he hid them!
What would you tell a new family about Down Syndrome?
All I’d say is don’t worry. It just makes you’re family more interesting.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
I am 8 years old. I’m Noah’s big sister. I love fashion, I love dancing, swimming, gymnastics, art, shopping and science.
Would you like to write a blog someday?
Maybe! I think I would, yes, yes I think I would.
What would you write about?
FASHION definitely fashion!