Down Syndrome Awareness 31 for 21 — No Limits!

We recently spoke with a class of Speech-Language students at Molloy College in Rockville Center, NY. My children and I do this at a handful of local colleges, meeting with students in various fields all planning careers working with children with special needs. We do this so these students can put a real face on the textbook diagnosis of Down syndrome. We do this to dispel the myths. We do this on behalf of all people with Down syndrome. All those who don’t have the opportunity to represent themselves to these students and to everyone else who works with people with Down syndrome. We do this so every person with Down syndrome can be represented as an individual instead of as a stereotype.



Our primary message to the students is to SEE and treat the individual not the diagnosis.

According to the stereotypical diagnosis of Down syndrome, my children would be mentally retarded. They are not! I have this statement in writing from the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities based on their latest evaluations.

According to the stereotypical diagnosis of Down syndrome, my children would have low muscle tone. They do not. They are in the low range of normal muscle tone… like their mother (LOL).

According to the stereotypical diagnosis of Down syndrome, my children would have heart defects. They do not. Their hearts are perfect! Just like yours and mine despite their extra 21st chromosome.

According to the stereotypical diagnosis of Down syndrome, my children would have vision problems. They do not. They wear no glasses, have no astigmatisms and can see better than me. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was a college student intending a career working with children with special needs. (Mike wearing pretend glasses)

I could go on but [I hope] you get the picture. They are not a textbook case of Down syndrome. No one is! And, I am not saying that Brian and Michael are completely unaffected by their diagnosis of Down syndrome. They are affected… mildly. But, four and a half years into their beautiful lives, we have found absolutely no limitations for Brian and Michael. Delays? Sure, some! Nothing insurmountable. But ABSOLUTELY NO LIMITS!

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About Maggie

I'm a stay-at-home mother of 3 children including a 15-year-old daughter, the Old Soul, and 11-year-old identical twin boys who've been blessed with an extra 21st chromosome (aka: Down Syndrome). I happily spend my time doing all that I can do -- breaking the proverbial box wide open -- to foster my children's development and then sharing what I learn with you through this blog.
This entry was posted in Down Syndrome awareness, Down syndrome stereotypes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Down Syndrome Awareness 31 for 21 — No Limits!

  1. Stacy says:

    Maggie, this is a great service you do for the community. I should look into that for our local college too 🙂 I already goto the elementary school my kids attend each October and read a book Let's Paint the Octopus Red in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month… thinking of which I better get that set up!!

  2. MaggieMae says:

    Stacy – I've been wanting to hit the elementary schools. I read some stats that people's stereotypes regarding people with disabilities develop during their elementary school years. If we're to change the way the next generation thinks, it has to be done now… when they're young enough to be influenced. They need to be exposed to people with disabilities now. That's also why mainstreaming is so important all the way through the education process. As much to provide peer role models to our children as to teach the other children that we are all more the same than different and that our differences are minor and represent each person's individuality.

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