I accept that my son has Down syndrome. I accept that he’s different and will accomplish milestones in “his time.” However, I don’t accept limitations. I refuse to put limitations on him. Am I being too optimistic? I don’t think so. MANY years ago, doctors recommended all babies born with Down syndrome be put in an institution. They didn’t believe they would ever walk, communicate, read, potty train and do things that “normal” children do. I don’t think any of us would’ve learned to read or write without encouragement and guidance. Moreover, we probably wouldn’t have learned to crawl, sit, stand,walk and feed ourselves without the encouragement and guidance of our parents and caregivers.I don’t think any of us are capable of thriving without encouragement and most of all, LOVE. I refuse to accept that Austin won’t do all the things that typical children do. It might take him a little longer to do all those things that most of us take for granted, BUT HE WILL do them.
Down syndrome doesn’t come without struggles, that’s for sure. Life doesn’t come without struggles and parenting certainly doesn’t come without struggles. Down syndrome means that my son was born with an extra 21 chromosome. He has 3 instead of the typical 2. It’s named after John Langdon Down. He’s a British physician who discovered this Genetic disorder in 1866.
There’s nothing “down” about having a child with 47 chromosomes. Life is exactly what you choose to make of it. I could dwell on the fact that my son is different, but what good would that do any of us? So…it might take him longer to crawl and walk? So what? It might take him longer to learn and comprehend new things? Again, SO WHAT? We’ll work on the delays, but we won’t let the delays define who he is. Austin is so much more than that! I have a beautiful son, who is truly the light of my life. I see nothing “down” when I look at my him. In the beautiful documentary, Deedah, a mother asks her son with Down syndrome, “Jonathan, what kind of syndrome do you have?” Jonathan enthusiastically responds, “UP SYNDROME!”
That’s right! If only all of us could have a little piece of “Up syndrome”…the world would be a much better place.