World Down Syndrome Day

Mar 21, 2011
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Monday, March 21, 2011 is World Down Syndrome Day.  The date is important because it’s named is derived from the most common form of Down syndrome: Trisomy 21 (Three 21). People all over the world will be celebrating this event.  For those that live with down syndrome, both the individual and the caregiver, this event signifies that people with down syndrome are just like anyone else. 

In Toowoomba, Toni Mitchell, a mother of a 10 year old son, Josh, with Down syndrome and autism has worked to tear down barriers created by misconceptions.

“One of the things I say about Josh is don’t assume he can’t do it because of what you know. Give him a chance to show you what he can do,” says Ms. Mitchell.

She educates others that people with Down syndrome are just like everyone else .

Another mother, Lisa Hassell, from Wales has watched her 9-year old daughter with Down syndrome blossom in a dance class she has been attending.  According to the teacher, “When I first started the classes it was hard to get the students to even stand in a straight line,” she said. “Now they can do it for half an hour.”

In Australia, Ty has won four World Down Syndrome Day Awards for self-advocacy.  According to the cofounder of DSi, “His participation in community activities such as surf lifesaving and yoga, along with the role he plays in supporting his family by taking on cooking and household responsibilities, sets an example for us all.” “Ty has represented Australia in swimming, is an active surf life saving club member, holds down a part-time job, volunteers at a kindergarten, and last year, had a lead role in a movie shot on the Sunshine Coast” writes a local newspaper.

It may be more of a challenge but people with Down syndrome can be physically active.  Let’s celebrate World Down Syndrome day with the knowledge that individuals with Down syndrome can live healthy, active lifestyles.

Author: Melissa



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