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World Down Syndrome Day 2014

Traci Taylor

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for people with Down syndrome. My love stems from high school where there was a special wing of my school devoted to kids with disabilities and where I met my first friends with Down syndrome.

A few years ago I was blessed to work with a group in the town in which I lived that advocated for people with Down syndrome. I’ve always believed that people with Down syndrome shouldn’t be viewed any differently than those without. People with Down syndrome can usually understand more than they’re able to express verbally and have the same needs and wants as everybody else, but reaching certain goals in life are harder for some than for others.

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, one in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, with more than 400,000 people with Down syndrome living and thriving in the United States.

Tomorrow is World Down Syndrome Day. A global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations on March 21st since 2012. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder. But there is still so much more we can do. There are so many myths that surround Down syndrome. For instance, a lot of people think that most people with Down syndrome are institutionalized. That’s absolutely not true. People with Down syndrome are integrated into the regular education system and take part in sports, camping, music, art programs and all the other activities of their communities.

As we approach World Down Syndrome Day, do your part. Get informed and then inform those you know so that we can break down the stereotyped walls.

One of the ways you can help inform people about the truths about people with Down syndrome is to wear crazy socks to work on Friday. Wear brightly colored socks, long socks, printed socks, 1 sock…maybe even 3 socks for 3 chromosomes. If you don’t normally wear socks, then wear them! And why stop at socks? Wear bright clothes too and then when people ask you what’s up, you can tell them you’re supporting those with Down syndrome because let’s face it- people with Down syndrome deserve that same love and attention as those of us without!

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