This year again, I will be participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge. What is 31 for 21?
- Down syndrome is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome (in medical terms it is Trisomy 21, frequently shortened to T21).
- October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
- There are 31 days in Oct
- Blog every day (31) in Oct to raise awareness/acceptance about Down syndrome (T21)
- So ... 31 for 21 Blog Challenge
On September 28, 1984 Ronald Reagan signed a resolution proclaiming October as National Down Syndrome Awareness month. It makes me a little sad though. That was 1984...fast forward to 2011 when Hailey was born. I was aware of Down syndrome, but I didn't know as much as I should have. That was almost 30 years later. So this October, I would like you all to continue on our journey. We all started with awareness. Slowly, we worked into acceptance. We accept that all individuals are different and we accept people with Down syndrome, each with their own weakness and strengths. Now let's move on and do more!
This is the year I want all of you to SEE Down syndrome. Don't see just their differences, see their strengths. See who they really are. Treat them with respect. Treat them just as you would any other person. Don't turn around and walk away for fear they will speak to you. Don't treat them as less of a person.
I know in the Cincinnati area, it is VERY common to see another person with Down syndrome just running errands. Say hello and thank you to the girl with Down syndrome that is bagging your groceries. Be a little more patient with the man busing the table beside you. If you work at a school, encourage other children to play with a child with Down syndrome, not coddle or "mother" them. Help the children find common ground with that child. As a doctor, don't give your patient every "worst case" scenario. Please don't scare or push your patient for an abortion. If you are a nurse to a mom who just received a diagnosis, don't apologize and please do not act like the baby doesn't exist (I had this happen to me). Ask how the baby is doing and gush at how cute and cuddly the baby is (because they really are the cutest and the cuddliest babies in the world!).
If you remember only one thing from this October, an individual with Down syndrome is a PERSON first! A person with thoughts, feelings and dreams. They want to have a happy, full life...just like you!
I hope you read about Hailey this month and also visit other blogs (click the 31 for 21 button on the right) as well to learn more about Down syndrome.