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Happy World Down Syndrome Day 2018!

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We will be celebrating Seth and all of his T21 friends across the world tomorrow.

Here’s an excerpt of a blog post my wife wrote on this day a few years ago:

The time is now for people of all colors, races, age, religions, genders or ways of life to recognize another group in our society that is too often left out when we throw out the word “diversity.”  Simply put, they are the many men, women, boys and girls who are differently-abled and part of the special needs community.  If as employers, educators, neighbors and churches….if as human beings, we are preaching to one another the value of diversity, then we must stand prepared to not only include, but to actively embrace those differently-abled members of the special needs community as our valuable equals.

Today is World Down Syndrome Day.  Today, 3.21.14, I am thankful to be celebrating with many people around the globe, the remarkable men, women, boys and girls in our lives who help diversify the special needs community, particularly those that have three copies of the twenty-first chromosome.  This day is also for celebrating the friends, family members and the many people around the world who work hard to advocate for the inclusion of people of all abilities.

Enjoying lunch with Seth at his school

Here are just a few specific things I’m celebrating about Seth:
1. He’s usually genuinely happy to see a friend or family member even if they’ve only been gone a few hours.
2. He isn’t fearful of people that look or act differently from the norm. He doesn’t care what you look like, and he’s genuinely friendly to just about any new person he meets.
3. He is usually very content with what he has and is rarely envious of any of his siblings’ things. That’s a rarity for typical children, at least it is for mine.
4. If mom and dad are hugging, he can’t help but want to get in on the love. It’s one of our favorite things. Group hugs happen spontaneously around our house all the time because of Seth.

Now, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Seth also is our most obstinate child. It’s very hard to get him to transition from a preferred activity to a less preferred activity. I wouldn’t want to romanticize having a child with Down syndrome, but I do want folks to appreciate the humanity of people with Down syndrome. My family is more empathetic, patient, and accepting of others than we would be without Seth. Seth may learn a little slower than the rest of our kids, but he has taught us so much than we could have ever imagined in his nine years.

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2 Responses to “Happy World Down Syndrome Day 2018!”

  1. Amy Reed March 20, 2018 at 10:25 pm #

    Love the sweet relationship you have with that special masterpiece that God gave you. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Joel March 21, 2018 at 7:19 am #

      God is gracious in all of his multi-faceted gifts. 😉

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