31 for 21: Just like you

Aside from that extra little genetic material, people who have Down syndrome are more like the rest of us than not.

Raphael outside Children's HospitalWe’re more alike than different” is the campaign slogan of the National Down Syndrome Congress.

It’s true. Many people with Down syndrome work, go to college, ride the bus, get married, and read blogs, etc.

But in the early years, it’s not easy to stop noticing how my son who has Down syndrome differs from his peers. I find myself checking my son’s lagging development compared to the children of friends who were pregnant at the same time as I or even those who delivered much, much later.

Certainly, it’s lovely to see my friends’ toddlers at birthday parties and in Facebook photos. They run around, eat ice cream cones, sing their ABCs.

Raphael doesn’t.

Not now.

My own nephew was born four days after Raphael, and he is huge, and fast, and talkative. He does all the things we once expected our child would do at two years old.

It takes awhile for shattered expectations to stop making themselves known.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not sad, and I don’t harbor ill feelings. I just notice a lot; distinctions are made for noticing. And those extra genes yield plenty of distinction.

Like people with Down syndrome, parents of children who have special needs are more like the rest of us than not. And also, not so much.

In honor of Down syndrome awareness month, I am trying to post to this blog every day for 31 days (or at least 31 times in October) to increase awareness of Trisomy 21, the most common genetic condition that causes the syndrome.

About elizamom

Colorado mother of two small boys. One happens to have Down syndrome.
This entry was posted in Parenting Special Needs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 31 for 21: Just like you

  1. Linda says:

    You are amazing, you know that?! You put into words so eloquently what so many parents of special needs children feel.

    I love you!

  2. Julie Rodgers says:

    I feel the same way, that as I notice that kids are looking at my son or whispering about him – I notice, but he never does. I’m not sure that he would care either. It took time for me to get over that, and luckily, it does pass. On that note… I am on the way to his Halloween party at a new school tomorrow, and am anxious to see how the kids will act around him. The upside, is that he will have a great time, and that’s what I’m going to pay the most attention to. I just love reading your blog, thank you for taking the time to write it.

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