Down Syndrome Awareness Month Opens My Eyes as a Parent (VIDEO)

more alike than differentParenting is hard. Parenting a teen is really hard. So parenting a teen with Down syndrome has got to be incredibly hard. Much, much harder than an "average" mom like me can even imagine. But October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and if there's one message the National Down Syndrome Congress is trying to spread with its We're More Alike Than Different campaign, it's that caring about somebody with Down syndrome is as joyful an experience as it is a challenging one.

And they're definitely getting the message across.

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Watching video clips from the We're More Alike ... campaign featuring young adults with Down syndrome telling their stories, something struck me. Something they all had in common, from the college student with dreams of singing on American Idol to the teacher's assistant who likes to dance and "get his groove on" to the exercise enthusiast ...

... They all love life! They love their lives.

Most kids are jaded by the time they're in middle school. These earnest souls never lose the ability to be amazed; instead, they somehow retain the wonder of a toddler just discovering the world.

They're happy.

Realizing this made me feel ... ashamed. How dare I look at these families and assume their lives are more difficult than anything else? Maybe automatically "feeling sorry" for Down syndrome families is an insult of sorts. Who am I to say that their differences equal nothing but disadvantage?

And anyway, as they say, We're More Alike Than Different. Just watch.

Do you plan on expanding your Down Syndrome Awareness this month?

 

Image via YouTube

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