Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Know Me Before You Judge Me

It's Day 2 of Ds Awareness month... Day 2 of 31 for 21. :)

A friend recently sent me the link for an awesome article written by Melissa Riggio - What's It Like To Have Down Syndrome? And I'd like to share it with you.
by Melissa Riggio

When I first started to work on this story, I thought maybe I shouldn’t do it. I thought you might see that I have Down syndrome, and that you wouldn’t like me.

My mom thinks that’s silly. “Have you ever met anyone who didn’t like you because you have Down syndrome?” she asks me. She’s right, of course. (She usually is!)

When people ask me what Down syndrome is, I tell them it’s an extra chromosome. A doctor would tell you the extra chromosome causes an intellectual disability that makes it harder for me to learn things. (For instance, some of my classes are in a “resource room,” where kids with many kinds of learning disabilities are taught at a different pace.)

When my mom first told me I had Down syndrome, I worried that people might think I wasn’t as smart as they were, or that I talked or looked different.

I just want to be like everyone else, so sometimes I wish I could give back the extra chromosome. But having Down syndrome is what makes me “me.” And I’m proud of who I am. I’m a hard worker, a good person, and I care about my friends.

Click here to read the rest of this article >>

Sadly, Melissa died several years ago at the age of 20 from leukemia. But her memory and her story live on. She continues to be an inspiration to many.

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