Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 1

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness month! I have to admit, I was a little "down" this morning on my way to work but I think that was due more to the fact that we had a very busy weekend where I spent more time doing work than I had intended to and didn't have much time to get anything else I needed to done, than anything having to do with Tera, but I'll admit, I definitely missed her more today.  Last year on this day I announced to my classes that my daughter had Down Syndrome and that October was the month I would help dispel  as many myths as I could about DS. Today I did that very same thing.  On my way to work I thought through how I would phrase my little talk, and by the time I got to school I was ready.  

My first class, who has been very quiet all along, listened respectfully, a few raised their hands when I asked if any of them have anyone in their life that has DS, but there really weren't any question.  My third hour class on the other hand really listened and then asked some amazing questions.  I prefaced each announcement with the fact that I don't really get offended and so if they were nervous about how to phrase something I would rather they stumble a bit and sound awkward, than not ask at all.  They were completely respectful, incredibly intrigued, and just gave me such a feeling of satisfaction at having told them.  My fifth hour class was pretty good and my seventh hour class did an equally impressive job at asking questions and demonstrating respect and interest.  I really couldn't have asked for a better response overall to information that always makes me just a little nervous to share.

I stressed to my classes that while there is no cure for DS, October is about awareness and that part of awareness is sharing accurate information.  I encouraged them to keep the questions coming as the year moves on and I'm very curious to see what more they have to ask. 

Another reason to celebrate today was how completely impressed Tera's physical therapist was upon seeing her ever-increasing ability to walk. It was definitely some very good news to have happen on this first day of celebrating DS.  

And in case you're not on Facebook I want to share once again my goal and project for this month.  I will once again be participating in the 31 for 21 blog challenge this October.  I will blog for all 31 days this month to celebrate and bring notice to that always popular 21st chromosome.  I would love input and questions, but what I'd really love is for anyone who reads this to take some time this month to help me spread awareness.  Share a fact with a friend or family member that they might not know about DS. Post a comment or fact or picture on Facebook, share my blog, or just remember when you see someone that might have DS, to just be conscious of the fact that they just want to be like everyone else and that they deserve the same respect as anyone else. I would really love to have a post answering questions from people so if you have any, send them my way.  

Since I'm falling asleep as I write this, I'm going to wrap this up, but know that in the next few days I will definitely be sharing some of the highlights from the conference Tom and I attended this past Saturday along with facts all month and insights into the life of Tera.  Stay tuned and as always, thank you so much for your support for reading!

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