Down syndrome isn’t….

 

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We all have our favorite time of year. Some of us even have our favorite months! While there are a few months that I’m pretty fond of, my favorite month just happens to be October. The leaves are usually turning colors and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING begins to appear. There are fall festivals, pumpkin patches and of course those little pumpkin candies that I’m capable of eating my weight in. BUT all that pales in comparison to the fact that October is DOWN SYNDROME awareness month!

Something that you should know, is that October didn’t used to be my favorite month. I always used to be quite partial to June, because someone I know has a birthday that month (and she’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself). It wasn’t until 2012 that I learned how amazing October could be! Our son Gabe was born in August and was not quite 2 months old when October rolled around that year and my family was transitioning from having one child at home to having two.

My husband and I were adjusting to feeding, clothing and keeping both children alive while our two year old was grudgingly accepting the the little thing her parents brought home was indeed staying, for good. Introducing baby number two into the family didn’t seem much different than welcoming baby number one, accept that this time around we actually felt like we knew what we were doing. The biggest difference was that Gabe brought with him and entire community. A community that I found, was celebrating during the entire month of October. The Down syndrome community celebrated anything and everything related to Down syndrome and worked hard at bringing awareness during the entire month.

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Awareness is the knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. All across the globe, people are working hard this month to bring awareness to those around them by sharing facts and information related to Down syndrome. Some post blogs, some transform their Facebook sites, and some participate in events; the options endless. Each person and their unique abilities, allow them to share about Down syndrome in their own way and all of it combined paint a picture of this incredible community and the individuals that make it up.

I want to start by sharing what Down syndrome isn’t.

Down syndrome isn’t a disease, it’s not contagious, it isn’t an illness and its not something to be afraid of. Individuals with Down syndrome do not have to institutionalized, placed in separate classrooms, ignored, excluded or treated differently. Down syndrome doesn’t destroy families, marriages, it isn’t a burden, or something that someone is suffering from. It’s a single extra chromosome in every cell. Ultimately, what that means, is that everyone person with Down syndrome is the same as everyone else, they just happen to have something extra inside of them.

Today is only the first of October, that means that there are 30 more days that I get to share all about Down syndrome. 30 more days to celebrate all of the amazing things that the little extra chromosomes contains! Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s post….

 

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