Earlier this year a friend told me she cried when she found out that Yirmiyahu had Down syndrome. I asked her why? After all, I didn’t cry. “Because it was so hard.”
That’s what I would have thought before I learned about Trisomy 21, too, but it’s not the reality. That’s a perspective based on very limited information that isn’t globally applicable. No, I don’t have the amazingly sunny personality that enables me to see bad things as good things – I’m a very realistic person. Reality is what a friend of mine with a daughter with T21 told me several years before Yirmiyahu was born: “Down syndrome is just not that big a deal.”
I know it’s hard to believe. Yes, people with Trisomy 21 do have challenges but they also are capable of far more than what is generally assumed to be true. Learning this as a mother of a very new infant with T21 gave me an entirely different perspective and vision.
Below is a talk by T21 advocate Karen Gaffney. Karen herself has T21. Hearing Karen speak is such an encouragement to me and in the TED talk below I think you’ll also appreciate what she has to say.