Meriah Nichols, mom to Moxie, who has Down Syndrome, writes how she wants people to accept
Down Syndrome and people with Down Syndrome and not simply be aware of it.
Read her post below……
Otober is Down syndrome Awareness Month here in the United States. I’m personally not out to promote awareness anymore, because we are there already.
We are aware.
We are aware that people with Down syndrome are the same as people without: deserving of equal rights, opportunities
and privileges. We are aware of what features associated with Down syndrome look like, we are aware of discrimination
and prejudice that is regularly leveled at people with Down syndrome.
We are aware that the world is not often kind to people with Down syndrome – that people with Down syndrome
can suffer horribly at the hands of people who do not accept them. Those hurting hands can belong to relatives, to
members of the justice system, to acquaintences or strangers. Yes, we are aware of this, and perhaps this is partly
the fear that keeps women from choosing to have a child with Down syndrome, perhaps this awareness does more
harm than good.
I want us to try to move beyond awareness. I want us to move into acceptance.
Let’s try to put our awareness into action and actively accept people with Down syndrome. Let’s try and move two
steps past our comfort zone, whatever that might be.
Are you uncomfortable around people with Down syndrome? Okay, challenge yourself to just go up to someone
with Down syndrome, look at them and greet them from your heart. A sincere “hello”.
And then move forward.
National Down syndrome Acceptance Month
I challenge you during this coming month, what I will now call National Down syndrome Acceptance Month,
to challenge yourself in moving past a place of discomfort with Down syndrome.
If you are already completely comfortable with Down syndrome, then I challenge you to go the extra mile and
implement one of these ideas:
Talk to a vocational counselor from the Department of Rehabilitation about providing an internship or work
experience for someone with Down syndrome; reach out to your local Down syndrome center and get something
It can be with child care help. Assistance with cleaning. Chores. Bicycle repair. Gardening. Filing. Those are just some
ideas but talk to the individual with Down syndrome that you hope to form a partnership with and see what will work
for both of you.
Can you offer to teach a skill to a person or small group of people with Down syndrome? Perhaps they might like
to learn how to knit, learn ASL, or how to blog? Photography, sewing, ceramics?
Think outside the box; we’re only limited by what we can imagine.
Ask what is needed of your local Down syndrome organization, check in with your local Center for
Independent Living. Areas have different needs and it’s best to check in and see what they actually have use
for before jumping in.
Google your local organization if you need to, email or call them. Sometimes you need to be persistent in
reaching out and connecting with someone. It’s funny how hard it can be to get an organization to allow you
to offer to help them.
Down syndrome Acceptance
It begins with us.
Move past the awareness. Open your arms to acceptance.
To follow Meriah’s blog, go to A Little Moxie.
Blog is reposted from: http://www.meriahnichols.com/syndrome-acceptance-month/