October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month – a time when people touched by someone with Down syndrome try to raise awareness by talking about Down syndrome and how it impacts them, by trying to break down stereotypes and prejudices, and by promoting the fundamental right of people who have Down syndrome to compassion, respect, dignity, and opportunities.
Raising awareness is sort of a two-pronged fork: we try to raise awareness to the general public by debunking myths about Down syndrome, challenging preconceived ideas, and showing that people with Down syndrome are not less than, just somewhat different. On the other prong, we try to raise awareness to families who have just been plunked down on this path – the one of facing a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. In that respect, we try to show that having a child with Down syndrome is not a tragedy, and that having a child with Down syndrome is full of just as much joy as having any other child.
Sometimes raising awareness to either set of folks means that we focus mainly on the positive. There is good and bad to that, to my way of thinking. My friend Melissa said it best here: The Rosy Picture. In any case, I’ve always tried to be honest and frank when writing and talking about Finn and how Down syndrome impacts our family.
This month I want to try something new: I want to hear from YOU. I want to hear how your feelings and views about Down syndrome, disability, and differences have been affected by following Finn’s and our journey, either online, or in real life. If you’d like to write something to appear as a guest post here sometime this month, please send it to me at lmorguessAT gmailDOTcom. It sure would mean a lot to me!
I will also be writing about Finn and Down syndrome throughout the month.