Monday, October 21, 2013

October, 2011 Down Syndrome Awareness Month... Day 25

More Alike Than Different...

More alike than different… that’s the theme of the National Down Syndrome Congress’s Campaign. Simply put, it means that individuals with Down Syndrome are more like individuals without it than they are different… pretty self explanatory, right?

But what does it mean to me? I’m not sure yet… my answer keeps evolving. Bear with me as this could get long (and confusing).

I actually LOVE that he’s different. I actually LOVE that God created him in such a unique and incredible way… Down Syndrome and all. I love that he looks different, I love that he acts different, I love that he runs with his little knees and toes pointing outward, I love that he looks at the world differently.

Psalm 118:23 says “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

He’s marvelous… just the way he is.

Please don’t me wrong… Josh is very much LIKE his peers in many ways. He loves to swim, play baseball, wrestle and climb trees. He hates eating his vegetables and wishes he could have ice cream for dinner every night. He wants to do everything his siblings do (which includes hunting!) and he tries hard to accomplish that goal.

And I WANT him to have every opportunity that his siblings have. I want them all to grow up to love and serve God, learn to put others first, smile every day, love and be loved…

Realistically tho… Josh IS different.

Then again, perhaps the goal of the campaign isn’t about that at all… perhaps it’s just a reminder that we should TREAT those with Down Syndrome the same as others… be considerate of their feelings, treat them with respect? Well, those things are a given (to most of humanity anyhow)…

But let’s be real, if Josh was treated the same as his peers, he wouldn’t get very far now would he? He needs special education classes, he needs speech therapy, an aide, extra encouragement, more help, more time to learn… and if he didn’t have those things, he’d fail. He’d fail miserably. He’d become a menace.

That's reality.

Why is it that we encourage our ‘normal’ kids to stand out from the crowd, be courageous and confident in who they are… different from the others… but yet we are trying to make our kids with Down Syndrome more alike than different?

So... while I’m thankful to the National Down Syndrome Congress for all the work it does on behalf of my son and others with Down Syndrome… I admit, I don’t fully understand the meaning of their campaign…More Alike than Different.

My son IS different… his genes make him different… God made him different… and I’m okay with that.

I just wish everyone else was. 


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