Today is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day. The 21/03 represents the 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome present in all people with Down Syndrome.
Without days like today that celebrate real stories, we depend on outdated perceptions and horrifying google searches to define what Down Syndrome means. You might come across terms like trisomy 21, growth delays, chromosomes, intellectual disability, muscle weakness, facial features and IQ. Within a few sentences you will be presented with pre-natal screening and statistics for pregnancy termination.
Without days like today, you probably won’t read that people with Down syndrome are achieving more today than ever before. You might not expect that children with Down Syndrome are doing well at school, competing in swimming clubs, gymnastics, football, dancing or sports. You might not know that adults with Down Syndrome have relationships, jobs, bills and pay their taxes. You might be surprised to hear that my 9 year old loves to travel, has visited multiple countries, has climbed the Eiffel Tower and was the first in his class to walk to school on his own.
So today is important, real stories, real people and real families will contradict those pre-conceived and outdated notions of what it means to have Down Syndrome.
Today we are celebrating some words in my house that you won’t find in your google search ….
Strength, kindness, friendship, respect. Lust for life, unconditional love, determination, ability. Cheeky, active, independent, smart. Pizza, movies, music, buttons ice cream, school. Swimming, gymnastics, camping, adventures. Cuddles, dancing, love and family!
Noah is surrounded by love, friends and family. We can’t be together today but here is our family, all rocking their odd socks from Germany, Longford, Leitrim, Dublin, Limerick and Cork for our amazing, fun and inspirational young dude Noah.
We want to remind the world, from all of us that we are all unique, we all have something to contribute in this world and there is colour and wonder in all of our differences !