Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Standing on their Shoulders

I love October.  Have I mentioned that before? :)  One of the things that I like about it (aside from the dropping temperatures and the pumpkins)  is all the wonderful stories I come across about adults with Down syndrome.  Heartwarming stories.  Inspiring stories.  And the thing that gets me about every one of them is that anybody my age or older with Down syndrome had some pretty awesome parents.  Because as much pressure as there is in today's society to not give birth to a child with Down syndrome, at least there are resources both medical and emotional available to us to help our children become all they can be.  30 plus years ago that did not exist.  Back then if you gave birth to a child with Down syndrome you were encouraged to institutionalize your child with the reasoning that you weren't equipped to raise them and they would never amount to anything.  That is what faced the parents behind each one of these amazing stories.  And they said no.  They knew that they were what was best for their child.  They fought for inclusion and acceptance where none existed.  Without assistance they found ways to help their child maximize their gifts.  And we stand on their shoulders.  Every good thing that our society provides for our babies,  all of the therapies,  services, and treatments we have because those parents wouldn't take no for an answer.  So every time I meet an adult with Down syndrome (or other disabilities that fit the same profile)  I want to hug their parents and every time I read an inspiring story I just want to say thank you to the trail blazers.  Every time I see Reagan accomplish a goal with the help of therapy I remember those who have come before and smoothed our path.  I read this story today and was reminded all over again how grateful I am for the shoulders we stand on.  So here is my big public THANK YOU too all of those both well-known and unsung who fought for their kids and through them for mine!

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