October is Down syndrome awareness month.
It was first designated as Down syndrome awareness month in the 1980s.
This month is essential so as to raise public awareness and advocacy about the condition. It advocates for inclusion and acceptance of people with Down syndrome.
People with Down syndrome still face stigma, stereotypes and myths. Their strength though is quite alarming. They have shown the world that the the condition is just one part of them.
It doesn’t limit them nor define them. The condition makes it harder for them to learn but with patience and persistence they are able to contribute to the society.
People with Down syndrome are just like everyone else. They have dreams and goals. They want careers,families. They want to drive, go to school and to do everything possible in the society.
They want to participate in sporting activities. They might be differently abled but with the correct therapies and coaching they can. There was a time a Eunice Kennedy Shriver proposed for the first special Olympics.
She was given a negative feedback, harmful myths about people with Down syndrome, such as “they had negative buoyancy.”
That they would sink in water. She however made sure this she included it in the first games in 1968. This she had to in order to change people’s attitudes.
Since then they have been included in all types of sports.
The awareness month is to create sensitization for parents to understand that it is no ones’s fault that they have a child with Down syndrome.
It is time for the people with Down syndrome to know that they are loved and accepted and that they matter.
It is also time to advocate for affordable medical covers for them.To reach out to those therapists who can volunteer their services for those who can’t afford.
This month is a time to strive for equality and equity for this group of people. It is time to include them in our education system. They are special but not different from us.
Let us support them and love them this month and show them that they matter. Let’s embrace irrespective of their different condition. They are human, they are not a curse. They are special,they are a blessing and a gift. Loving them doesn’t make you any less.
Let us help spread the message of love, acceptance and respect.
For more information on therapies available, doctors available and more material on Down syndrome in Kenya, get in touch with T21 Family support Organisation. Find their details below
1. Facebook: @T21FSO ( T21 Families Support Organisation)
2. Twitter: @FSOT21
3. Instagram: t21_fso
4. Youtube channel: T21 FSO
5. Website: t21familieske.org
You don’t need to have to know anyone with Down syndrome but you can donate to them, volunteer your services and support them. Let’s make this a blue and yellow affair.
Let’s make it rain love on them.