Down Syndrome Awareness Month

To celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month, one of our Preschool parents sent in this beautiful letter describing what Down Syndrome means to their family. Please read below to hear their letter of gratitude and information to fellow parents.

Baldini

A message from Kennedy’s family…

If you were not aware, October is Down Syndrome Awareness month.  Our daughter, Kennedy, is a student in the Ocean room and your child’s classmate.  We are excited to take the opportunity this month to open doors and answer any questions that you may have about Kennedy’s special abilities.  We love to tell our story about how she surprised us when she was born and what a joy our life has been with her in it.   Some of your sons or daughters have already been inquisitive when we have visited the classroom and asked some basic questions about Kennedy’s speech.  We simply have explained to the kids that she is just like them and loves to play and have fun with them, but that she just learns things a little slower than them and will catch up.  All the kids seem to be content with this answer, as they are with any truthful response that you give to a curious toddler!

For those parents of children blessed with Down Syndrome (T21), every day is a chance to promote Down syndrome awareness-advocating for our children to be included in school and community activities, highlighting their talents, giving them opportunities to show just how much they have to share. The calendar, however, provides us with one month during the year when we can really step up those efforts. At Frazer, we are extremely lucky to be surrounded with diversity daily.  I cannot imagine Kennedy going to a school where everyone looked the same, acted the same and learned the same.  I am certain that you feel similarly.  Thank you for choosing a school that promotes inclusion and equality.  And for the dads of the Ocean room, thank you for welcoming Kennedy’s hugs on a daily basis! She seems to have found her audience. Please take the opportunity to educate not only your family, but others that you meet that are not properly informed.

If you need any information or have questions about T21, please ask us.  We are always available to talk and have a wonderful network.  Kennedy belongs to a local enrichment and awareness center called Gigi’s Playhouse.  There are lots of play opportunities for the kids and volunteer opportunities as well.  All the services that the Playhouse offers are FREE so that all kids with T21 can benefit from therapy, literacy and other services.

Definition:

Down syndrome (also called Down’s syndrome) encompasses a number of genetic disorders, of which trisomy 21 (a nondisjunction) is the most representative, causing highly variable degrees of learning difficulties and physical disabilities. This genetic disorder was named after John Langdon Haydon Down, the British doctor who described it.

Helpful links:

www.gigisplayhouse.org 

www.r-word.org

Sincerely,

The Baldini’s (Reshell, Karla, Kennedy and Breeze)