‘OCTOBER IS DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH’
With this in mind, Dawn and Wendy at Life Force Support wanted to write about how special this month is. It is not only important to make people aware of Down Syndrome, but to embrace the freedom and independence that these amazing individuals can now explore.
For many years, Down Syndrome was frowned upon and looked as a mental illness even as far as to put them into hospitals and institutions. Locked away from the world, they were unable to source the wonderful support we now have.
Nowadays children born with Downs are able to lead extraordinary lives and a whole different future is there for them to grab with both hands. Every child is different and there are no rules to abide by. No handbook or google searches. There is an amazing support network for families new to this world of special needs. With Portage, Speech & Language, Physiotherapy, Schools and Healthcare their lives are no longer under threat.
We won’t tell you it’s easy, or hard, it’s just a little bit busier and milestones may take longer to reach. Children, young adults and adults alike are enjoying the liberation of acceptance. They are working, living independently, and even falling in love and getting married. With over 13 million disabled individuals in the UK with 351,000 children with Down Syndrome, it’s a lot more common than you think!
Having a son with Downs has taught me patience, attitude and an open mind. This pandemic has taken it’s toll on many families and their whole way of life has been turned upside down. It’s been hard on mental health, wellbeing, impacted on making plans, creating loneliness, feeling abandoned, frightened to even leave the house. It’s caused many to withdraw and feel like a burden. Imagine what it’s been like for a special needs family.
Most of our children need the blanket of routine. So when that goes out of the window it’s a catastrophe. We have to find ways to distract the situation which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Not being able to lead a normal life as we know it has made a difficult situation, a terribly hard situation. The little trips out to the park were never easy for us at the best of times and usually a military expedition! However, now that is becoming increasingly harder day by day as things continue to change. I’ve personally now lost the thread of information and I’m highly confused as to what the heck is going on in the world, the rules and regulations keep changing!!! So we plod on regardless!
The National Down Syndrome Awareness month started in the 1980’s to advocate and spread awareness. It’s also to celebrate their abilities and capabilities and just letting you know that they can do anything they set their minds to!
World Down Syndrome day falls on the 21st of March and was chosen to honour the third copy of the 21st chromosome and the uniqueness of the triplication. People around the world wear odd socks on this day because chromosomes are shaped like socks using the #LotsOfSocks on social media. It is designed to be fun where children and adults alike celebrate their individuality and express themselves! The theme is ‘We Decide’ as all people with Downs should have full participation in decision making about matters that affect their life.
Before we end our blog we just wanted to share a few tales and truths!
Tale: People with Down Syndrome don’t live very long.
Truth: Given all the correct support and any medical attention people with Downs Syndrome live a long, happy and fulfilled life!
Tale: Only older Mothers have babies with Down Syndrome.
Truth: Although older Mums have a higher chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome, more are born to younger Mothers, reflecting the higher birth rate.
Tale: People with Downs are always happy and affectionate.
Truth: We are all individuals and are no different to anyone else in their character traits and varying moods.
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog!
Have a fabulous month and see you soon xxx