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Things I Love About Down Syndrome

Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day. Individuals with Down syndrome have as much in common with typical individuals as each other, and there is as much difference in individuals within the Down syndrome community as in any other group of individuals. My point is that stereotyping is useless - however, there have been some observations I have made through both my own general experience and through talking to others and reading others' general experiences that I'll try to share here.

    1. Hugs

    I've heard it said more than once that family members with Down syndrome give better hugs.

    2. Glint in the Eyes

    Upon close examination you can sometimes see little extra speckles in the iris.

    3. Dancing

    Author/Blogger Kelle Hampton theorized that the gene for dancing must be on the 21 chromosome (individuals with Down syndrome have 3 copies of their 21st chromosome, rather than the usual 2). This probably doesn't actually check out from a scientific perspective, but a love of dancing has been widely observed.

    4. Lack of Artifice

    Don't get me wrong, I think individuals with Down syndrome can lie, cheat and steal just fine, but I think their need to sometime get assistance means they approach new relationships with an earnestness and sincerity that you don't see much in the typical population.

    5. Intensity (Roller Coaster)

    I've said that life is like a roller coaster, and I think special needs parenting is regular parenting with the volume cranked up. You celebrate milestones much more and worry about the future more. If you've ever been on a tamer roller coaster (perhaps one for kids), you know the roller coasters that are more intense are more fun in the end.

    6. Community

    "The Lucky Few" are a great, courageous community that I wouldn't have known about if not for Down syndrome.

    7. Learning

    I've learned a lot about sciences like speech pathology, nutrition, anatomy, cognitive psychology and many other fields through having to research and work on providing the best possible outcomes for my son.

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