This year marks the 7th World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) and for the first time the UN will be observing this day, officially! Many countries all over the world have events to celebrate and create awareness of this condition. Click here to find out if your country has an event.
i’m happy to say that Singapore has always had an active group advocating for the needs and rights of people with Downs. Here is a brief report of their WDSD event. i am sad though that Switzerland did not have an event. Maybe next year it will happen here too.
Maybe you don’t know much about Down Syndrome. i have found this website called Kids Health which gives a fairly complete and good explanation of it. It is a great website to use as a resource for children wanting to understand some health issues. Click here for a kid-friendly explanation of Downs.
i like the first two paragraphs:
You have probably seen people who have Down syndrome. They have certain physical features, such as a flatter face and upward slanting eyes. They may have medical problems, too, such as heart defects. Kids with Down syndrome usually have trouble learning and are slower to learn how to talk and take care of themselves.
But despite their challenges, kids with Down syndrome can go to regular schools, make friends, enjoy life, and get jobs when they’re older. Getting special help early — often when they are just babies and toddlers — can be the key to healthier, happier, more independent lives.
But the star paragraph for me is the concluding one on the second page:
Because they look different, some kids may tease or bully kids who have Down syndrome. But these kids have feelings just like anybody else. When they get teased, it hurts their feelings. They want to be accepted and have friends. If you know someone with Down syndrome, you can be a big help by not teasing him or her. Instead, offer a helping hand and a friendly word of encouragement.
The tagline for this year’s WDSD is Let Me In. It speaks of inclusion, which is what every one of us wants; to be included, to be accepted for who we are. The UK Down Syndrome Association has a wonderful competition which does just that – a photography competition just for people with Down Syndrome! Photography is my passion and i can’t wait to see all the entries.
So will you take a step towards accepting a person (adult or child) with Down Syndrome? Will you help your children to understand these kids who have such a great capacity for loving?
In a lot of countries, children with Downs are accepted and given the special help, health care and education they need. But in many others, they are simply unwanted; thought to be useless and are thrown out like garbage. It is a sad situation; it is very heart-breaking when we know that given the proper care and a loving environment, these children will thrive and grow to lead full lives.
Which leads me to what i am praying for and who i am praying for. i am a prayer warrior for orphans with Down Syndrome and other special needs, listed on the Reece’s Rainbow adovcate website. Specifically, i pray for little Heath and little Heather. Both have never been loved and cared for as they should be. Both have been in institutes, which can not meet their needs, for far too long. Both need a loving mummy and daddy to help them through life; to love them, hug them, let them know that they are wanted and accepted for who they are.
Or would you join me in praying for them? Pray that their needs be met daily and that their forever families will find them today.
Maybe you can contribute towards their adoption grant which would help their forever families get to them sooner.
Go to this post to read more about Reece’s Rainbow and, Heath and Heather. Learn 21 Truths About Down Syndrome as seen through the eyes of the families with Down Syndrome children. My favourite out of the 21 Truths is this:
3 They are everything wonderful that doctors DON’T tell you, and they are everything that is right in a wrong world.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
PS: If you do consider adopting or becoming a prayer warrior or contributing to their adoption grants, please do leave a comment below so that i can send you a personal thank you and be praying along with you.