*I’m honored to have a guest post from my friend Michelle for Down Syndrome Awareness Month.*
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
“For you formed my inward parts
you knitted me together in my
I praise you, for I am fearfully and
Wonderful are your works
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness month. It’s a month where parents and friends of children and adults with DS want to let everyone know that a person with DS can have a great life. They also want to push for awareness at schools, work places, public nuances and let everyone know that a person with Down Syndrome is a person and should be treated like everyone else, and raising the awareness that no one should ever use the “R” word. Ever. (The “R” word is retarded, if you didn’t already know. You can read my thoughts on the “R” word here.)
I struggle with this month, because I think the people who care about awareness are the ones who have the kids, relatives or friends who have or know people with Down Syndrome. I think awareness has been wonderful for schools and therapy and it has helped people with Down Syndrome to be welcomed and loved in society. Especially back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s (even as early as the 80’s), when Down Syndrome was viewed as a disease and parents were told to put their kids in homes, rather than keep them as a part of their family. It’s encouraging what awareness has done for families who have members with Down Syndrome. It HAS given people more of an understanding of what Down Syndrome is. It’s given kids with DS an opportunity to be educated, to get jobs, and to let the public know that people with DS are an asset to society.
There’s a missing piece though when it comes to awareness. This is the piece that I struggle with. This is the part where my heart hurts and it’s hard to breathe.