Today is World Down Syndrome Day 2018!
According to Down Syndrome International, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a global awareness day that was first observed in 2006 and which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The United Nations General Assembly decided to “designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2012” and “invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner.”
Why is World Down Syndrome Day celebrated on March 21?
March 21, the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21). Down Syndrome International (DSi) encourages people all over the world to choose their own activities and events on WDSD to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities. Part of the goal is to create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder.
I’d like to share a touching video that really resonates with me. This video brings tears to my eyes each time I see it. The video shows 50 mothers and their children lip sync singing along to Christina Perri’s smash hit “A Thousand Years”. The women are all members of a Facebook group known as “Designer Genes” that was created for parents who have a child with Down’s Syndrome born in 2013/14. The video descripion states “They got together to show the world just how ordinary and fun life with the condition is and how they “Wouldn’t Change a Thing”.
I wouldn’t change a thing about my youngest son.
I didn’t know that my youngest son was going to have Down syndrome before birth. Had I known I wouldn’t have changed a thing, but that’s a different discussion for a different day.
My son is everything I never knew that I wanted or needed. He has made me a better woman, a better mother, a better advocate and a better person all around. He has given me so many things that I didn’t know that I was looking for or missing. My life is better because of him and I cannot imagine life without him.
I love him with every fiber of my being. Being a parent of a child with Down syndrome does have its challenges but it’s worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing about him.
What I would change are some things about the world and people in it. You see, for me every day is World Down Syndrome Day. Every day I fight for my son. It can be ugly and bloody and it can hurt like hell. But I will never let it break me and I won’t let up until I’m dead.
I’d change the world to be a place where my son would be treated like a person and not like a condition. My son is a person, he is not his diagnosis.
I’d change the world to be an accepting place where my son wouldn’t be ignored or stared at like a freak. My son’s speech may not be perfect but he does have a lot to say.
I’d change the world to a place where my son wouldn’t be judged by how he looks or what his abilities are. He has potential and can do many things.
I’d change the world to be a place where the parents will teach their children that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and as a human being, and that disrespect, bullying and creulty are unacceptable and not to be tolerated.
I’d change the world to be a place where people don’t use the word retarded around casually, without care that they aren’t using it correctly and that they are hurting others by using it that way.
Should you have an interest, some of my favorite older posts were also published on World Down Syndrome Day. Be sure to check them out! Really, check them out, the pictures will get you I promise.
2009 – World Down Syndrome Day
Wondering how you can make a difference? It’s easy.
- Learn more about Down syndrome.
- Share what you learn.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day!