World Down Syndrome Day – Featuring the Outstanding Oliver!
The stigma and reproach surrounding the Down Syndrome community is something that is not talked about enough and a topic that should be opened up to conversation…
So I talked to Oliver’s mum, Anita who shared their story.
On the 21st of the 3rd month of the year we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, the date specifically chosen to draw attention to the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down’s Syndrome.
Down’s Syndrome is a difficult topic to write something meaningful about unless you have lived experience. If you search the internet for example, the majority of the information you will find on the subject is just cold hard facts and figures. It is almost like the Down’s Syndrome community has been hidden away and left to their own devices.
As someone who grew up in a small town in rural west Wales, I have never really met anyone who has Down’s Syndrome. I remember there being only one person with Down’s Syndrome in school and he was known as “Billy the Down’s Syndrome” by both students and staff. Of course, I do not really think any of us knew any better at the time but on reflection that still does not make it okay. It does show however, that prejudice is strong and ingrained into so many of us even if we are not aware of it. The stigma and reproach surrounding the Down’s Syndrome community is something that is not talked about enough and a topic that should be opened up to conversation. Due to my own lack of knowledge and admittedly my own preconception regarding people with Down’s Syndrome and their community, I decided to speak to somebody who has lived experience.
WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY
This should not only be a day to spread awareness but also a day to reflect, educate and celebrate uniqueness. It is time that we break the stigma and the silence and open up the conversation.
If you would like to get involved with World Down Syndrome Day or further educate yourself, you can find additional information at https://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/ or follow #worlddownsyndromeday on social media where people are sharing their own incredible journeys.