Tuesday, March 19, 2013

World Down Syndrome Day-Just two more days...

I haven't devoted as much public time to World Down Syndrome Day this year as I did last year, but it is no less important to me this year.  Last year I attempted a full month of blogging to help promote World Down Syndrome Day and this year I felt it just wasn't a realistic expectation of myself; especially considering how February went in our house.  But this Thursday, just two days away, is in fact, World Down Syndrome Day.  Do you know how you'll celebrate?

This year Tera and I will be wearing our DS tshirts and I have given my students an opportunity for extra credit and a chance to further their knowledge and compassion while hopefully helping to spread awareness for DS.  I have been very open with my students this year, and last year, in regards to Tera's health, complications, successes, and stresses.  They are very understanding and have asked excellent questions along the way.  This year for extra credit, I asked them to answer four questions: why World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on March 21st, what they have learned about DS this year that they didn't know before, what they'd still like to know, and how their opinion of DS has changed if at all.  I've already had two turned in and I can't wait to see how the rest turn out (they're due on Thursday), but be sure that I will be sharing.

If you are also a teacher, here is a link to a letter from Chris Burke (Corky from Life Goes On) to students.  It's short and I think it helps spread the message.  If you're not a teacher and would still like to help dispel myths and promote awareness, here is the a link to a fact sheet about DS and one about myths and truths.  Looking for other ways to help with awareness? Here are some more links:

Preferred Language Guide

A beautiful video featuring some beautiful people

Another beautiful milestones video

Please consider sharing just one fact about Down Syndrome on Thursday with someone who might not know it, and make it meaningful.  If you read one of the facts or myths and thought to yourself, "Hey, I never knew that!", consider sharing it with someone else.

From her 1st year pictures, but one of my favorites.
There is no cure for Down Syndrome, this campaign is about awareness so that my daughter can hopefully grow up in a society where she is not stared at for anything but her undeniable beauty.  A society where people are not afraid to talk with her, but instead feel lucky to have the opportunity to interact and learn from her.  A society where she is not pitied or looked down upon, but instead where she is held to high standards and expectations and given the chance to reach them.  Please help us and know that you are changing the world one fact at a time.

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