Proposition to Disney…

When faced with situations that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable we often reach out to others for their support, encouragement or guidance. When a baby or toddler isn’t sure how to respond in a situation, you can often see them looking to their parents to gauge their reaction. It’s innate, we are not meant to face life’s challenges alone.

After receiving the news that our son would be born with Down syndrome, I sought out other parents who had walked the path I was now walking.
I found comfort in their congratulations, encouragement in their photos and hope in their stories. I gained friends from across the globe, friends who spoke the same language as I. We said things like Trisomy 21, early intervention, low tone and spoke in letters like OT, PT, and ST. I know that at any point, I can share my deepest darkest feelings with them and they GET it. The don’t judge, they get it, they’ve been there too.

I have had the opportunity to connected with many, even flying across the US to spend a week with an amazing friend, who wouldn’t be I’m my life had it not been for our sons. I am blessed to call many of them friends and confidantes. With Gabe came an entire tight knit community that spans continents. I am honored to be in a place where I can now, offer congratulations, encouragement and hope to new and expectant parents.

It is through this community that I happened upon a request to sign a petition. The parents of a sweet toddler named, Delaney Skye have made a simple request to Disney. They’re asking for Disney to offer role models that children with Down syndrome can relate to; role models that children of any ability can relate to.

Keston Ott-Dahl, Delaney’s mom and author, had this to say, “Disney has done such a great job inspiring children, generation after generation, to be good people. They are in a unique position to directly change the way future generations and societies view people with Down syndrome”.

Remember when I said that when in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations we often look to others for guidance? This is a perfect example! Ott-Dahl continues “Disney can teach future generations to be more compassionate and more accepting and in judgmental of kids who are not like them.”

This is the chance for the children of this and future generations to see their childhood role models supporting individuals with Down syndrome and maybe even having their own Trisomy 21 hero. Allowing children to see kids with Down syndrome as the hero or heroine is a perfect opportunity for Disney to assist in moving from awareness to acceptance. How inspiring it would be for a child with Down syndrome to see a child just like him or her save the world and be appreciated for their abilities?

I have seen this community move mountains, change lives and alter the perceptions of those around them. Here is a chance for you to help continue the forward progression towards acceptance by altering the views of a generation. I hope that you will take time to sign this petition and to eagerly wait with me for a hero or heroine who’s chromosomes don’t matter.

Click to sign Delayney’s petition


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In “Down syndrome Isn’t ” I talked about how October is Down syndrome Awareness month. This year the Down syndrome community is celebrating its 30th year of bringing awareness. I’ve read through a variety of posts throughout the day, lots of great ones out there! But, what I began seeing more and more as I read through these is a sense of dissatisfaction.

It’s not just enough anymore that we bring awareness, that ship has been sailing for 30 years. It’s time that we bring about acceptance. Meriah Nichols could be described in two words, amazing and courageous. She offered up a very specific challenge today in the form of a blog post:

“Let’s try to put our awareness into action and actively accept people with Down syndrome. Let’s try and move two steps past our comfort zone, whatever that might be.”

Not only has she challenged the public to transform their perceptions of what were celebrating in October, but she offers ideas on how to personally show that acceptance. The final words on her post are “Move past the awareness. Open your arms to acceptance“.

So here I am, nodding my head in agreement. I think it’s a great idea. When I take my children out, I don’t want people around him to only be aware that my son has Down syndrome, I want them to accept him for the incredible individual that he is. I want society to accept that chromosomes don’t determine worth or ability.

If you’ve watched tv today, I’m sure that you have seen pink everywhere. Do not misunderstand me, this is an important month for Breast Cancer awareness and the thousands of warriors out there. However, I’d like to see some yellow and blue too. Our community is beyond just bringing awareness, we require acceptance and want to be celebrated this month too. We’ve come so far in just these few years, lets see how far we can get in just 30 more days. I’d like to encourage you to include #BlueNYellow in your comments, posts and status updates related and unrelated to down syndrome. You can #BlueNYellow anywhere that you deem fit. Let see if we can move past awareness to acceptance and even acknowledgement!

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