Here we are the last day of the 31 for 21 challenge. The last day of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I made it through despite what may have seen as insurmountable odds and personal challenges that I faced during this month - I did my 31 posts! Doesn't that speak to DS, the challenges that can be faced, but the idea that you will get there with your own pace (as the Creed above states).
Awareness is important. I am thankful that we have this month to build awareness for my daughter and for so many others. Awareness can help us move forward versus backward. Our backward had to do with things like institutions, eugenics, and dehumanization. We have a lot farther to go because the current treatment of individuals with disabilities in our society isn't suitable either, but at least it has improved.
Just this week I heard two students talking about the new hate crime bill that was passed. They were talking about how President Obama signed this bill that protects individuals based on gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. They said it was about time. I agreed. I have to admit that lately I haven't watched the news, so I was just hearing about it for the first time through them. I came home and looked on the internet and saw that disability was also included. On one hand, I jumped for joy - that is great - finally disability is included!! On the other hand, I felt sad, for the students left off disability from their excitement and doesn't that just further indicate where we are with things. So we continue to need awareness. It doesn't stop at the end of October or with this last post - it should go on throughout the year.
Awareness will always have a "strange" connection for me. Quinn was born during DS Awareness Month, and ironically she was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms during Infantile Spasms Awareness Week - what is the chance of that? Does it mean I am on the right path with this awareness stuff? I think so.
The thing is despite our slow move forward in the USA in awareness, we have to be cognizant that it isn't this way in every other country of the world. That is also awareness. If Quinn was born in another country she may not live the life that she would here in the USA. Depending upon the country, she may be institutionalized (that is the norm), would be denied medical care (with her IS that would be huge), and would not feel the love from a family that she does now. Please watch the video below about Reece's Rainbow. This is a beautiful organization that helps kids with DS in other countries find their forever families and a home of their own. They have a campaign to raise money for these little ones this holiday season - you can even click on the ornament on the side of my blog to connect there. This is also about awareness because we are all family, and Quinn's brothers and sisters in other countries also need our help.
So all of this is why awareness is so important to me personally, to my little girl, and hopefully to you. Please keep passing on the idea awareness all year around. Thank you!
This blog is about our journey raising three bright, gorgeous kids (Riley, Aidan, and Quinn). Miss Quinny happens to have an extra 21st chromosome (Down syndrome) along with Infantile Spasms (West syndrome) and Stereotypic Movement Disorder. This blog is for awareness and advocacy for families with children with special needs.