World Down Syndrome Day | Free Birdees

World Down Syndrome Day

What Inclusion Means

World Down Syndrome Day 2022

 Today is World Down Syndrome Day, and this year's theme is, "What Inclusion means". We believe every birdee deserves to experience all that life has to offer - without limits or borders!

We want to join the conversation and share what some of our amazing mamas and their birdees have to say about what inclusion means to them. 

A Word From Our Mama Birds

   
     "To me, inclusion means my children will be offered the same experiences without a second thought. It means knowing my child will never be left behind because of the way they look, learn, or grow." @msmcmullin
      "Inclusion, for me, is for every person to be seen and heard; to be accepted no matter what you can or can’t do. I pray everyone who meets Amelia can accept who she is, an amazing babygirl who lights up our world. Her differences are beautiful!"- @extralovelymelia
  “Inclusion is not about finding room at an already full table. It’s about making the table big enough for all, right from the start. My son Jed, with Down syndrome, is just as worthy and deserving as anyone else to sit comfortably at this table of life. His life is precious and should be treated as such.”- @mistycoysnyder

 

  "Inclusion is acknowledging everyone’s differences and choosing to include them anyways. Don’t try to take away Anderson’s disability. Instead, learn to love him for exactly who he is. Learn to adapt things for him, not make him adapt to you. Love the person with the disability, not despite the disability." -@rebeccaprice___
 "As a mother of a child with Down Syndrome, inclusion is something I worry about daily. It isn’t just letting someone participate because of their disability. Inclusion is embracing someone, regardless of their differences and welcoming them with open arms. It’s our job as parents to model and teach inclusion at all ages and stages." -@halialane

      "I want people to recognize the differences that Miles has and include him anyway.. not just when they may get praised for doing it, but every single day. So he can go to birthday parties, be in all classrooms, and do fun extracurriculars and his disability will be respected and valued!" -@tashcard

 

     "As a mother of a child with DS, inclusion is one of those things we will fight for everyday for Theo because it means so much!! When we had our prenatal diagnosis, we stood at this unopened door, this next chapter of life, covered with ivy (very intimated). We stood there so unsure what this life would bring. Would he have friends? Would he be accepted? Would he have the chance to do everything his peers would be doing? For me, I knew I would want Theo to be able to have inclusion. I want him fully included with his peers. Why? Because he can do it. We presume competency in our household. We want to make accommodations for him wherever he needs, and give him the tools for success… but doesn’t every parent want the same thing?

     This is so important because being included means that his peers, and people he is around loves and respects him.That society has shifted and are giving people with different abilities the opportunity to shine. It means that people are taking the time to be patient and give him the tools he may need to accommodate. For me, it means my work as an advocate has been all worth it. Because to see our babies 30 years from now in a world of respect and inclusion, that’s the goal! That’s the dream! Remember kindness is free and easy, and it makes you feel good too 💙💛 " -@down.with.theo

 

     "I think as anyone’s mom, you worry about things like school & the possibility of bullying & wonder who their friends will be & if they’ll be interested in sports or music or ballet. As Micah’s mom, the worry about how she will be treated is so much more of a tangible thing.

     When I really think about it, I feel that gripping sensation in my chest & tears fill my eyes. Because all I want in this life, more than anything else, is for society to see her the way I see her - for her potential, for her worth, for all that she has to offer. Micah is the coolest chick already, even at 16 months old, not because of what she can DO but because of simply who she IS. See the difference? I can do my part by sharing Micah & her life to {hopefully} take away the unease/unfamiliarity with interacting with someone with a disability, but what can YOU do to aid in a more inclusive world? Brands & companies can share inclusive awareness with their imaging & message - thanks Free Birdees for leading the way, we love you!

     Befriend someone of any age with Down syndrome - your life will be so much brighter! You can reach out to your local Down syndrome association to see about joining events near you. You & your kids could volunteer with your local Down syndrome association or Gigi’s Playhouse - what great values for kids to learn through needed volunteer work! And lastly is something I feel so passionately about. The example starts with you as the parent, not only in how you do or don’t interact in public, but with the message you send at home through intentional conversations. With young kids, books are a great way to introduce diversity & inclusion - I have so many great book recommendations if you need any! With older kids, it’s more deliberate conversations about differences. It’s never too early or too late to start talking to them.

     As Micah’s mom, inclusion means acceptance - in a school setting, in the grocery store, at extracurricular activities, at invitations to events & birthday parties; its acceptance as a teacher, as a friend, as a family member & as a stranger on the street. Help me change the narrative. Help me celebrate differences. Happy World Down Syndrome Day to all the beautiful souls rocking an extra chromosome!" - @mighty.micah.jewel

 

      A huge thank you to all the moms above for sharing their experience with other members of the flock. We want to celebrate every aspect of what makes our 'lil ones who they are. We hope these messages help with other moms going through similar experiences. At the very least let other birdees that know that they are not alone, and to amplify the voices of all those included within the Down syndrome community.