Why World Down Syndrome Awareness Day is Important

Hello everyone, Happy World Down Syndrome Awareness day!

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Growing up, it always made sense to me that Michael was a little different. My mom would always tell me that Michael has Down Syndrome and that he would be different from other children, and I simply understood. I understood that Michael may have different needs than other people, that he couldn't talk to me, that he would always need extra attention.

And yet, once I began school at UC San Diego, there were still students who would ask me "what's Down Syndrome?" Three years ago I couldn't believe that someone attending such a high-level institution that had no idea what would result from having an extra chromosome. I'm forever grateful for that experience, because it made me realize that something needs to change. If a student at my own school wasn't aware of Down Syndrome, then how many others are there out there that have no idea? We need change, not just increasing awareness  regarding Down Syndrome, but to ameliorate the stigma behind the special needs community. Did you know, that according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 67-85% of fetuses in the United States and Europe are aborted after prenatal screening for Down Syndrome? In most of these cases, they are due to a lack of understanding regarding the DS community. If it weren't for Michael, I very well too could have had the same outlook. And with that, I created this blog. I'm incredibly humbled and appreciative by all of the support that we have received and the incredible people that we have met.  

I look forward to expanding this blog and allowing other people to get a glimpse of our story. Whenever you're next to Michael, you can immediately feel his calm, loving presence that's far from judgmental. Michael demonstrates the same affection to everyone, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Unless if you're loud and obnoxious (Michael hates noisy things like kids screaming) Michael approaches everyone with the same manner. Although Michael may not be able to speak, he's completely fluent in a more important language-- the language of love. Michael excels at demonstrating his affection towards others, and I know that he's not alone. Experiencing life while living with someone like Michael reminds you to fully appreciate what you've been given in life, and to look at people with a more open perspective. 

I'm also super excited to announce that the launch of Cedar's Story's new book, Down on the Farm, has been released on Amazon! This beautiful children's book features children with Down Syndrome playing on a farm, and is appropriate for children of all ages. It's an amazing book working on a great cause :) 

*Disclaimer: the link below is an affiliate link, meaning that I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link on my page. It won't change the cost of the product, and helps support Beyond the Waves, so thank you!

Down on the Farm
By Dawn Alsept

As always, thank you so much for reading and feel free to leave any questions or comments, or submit a contact form! :)