I have a new post on The Goody Blog for Parents Magazine called “What I Learned from Raising a Child with Down syndrome.” It could also be called, “What I Learned from Raising a Child,” even if the “lessons” have been more pronounced due to Penny’s extra chromosome. That’s one of the remarkable things about “disability.” I once thought that people with disabilities inhabited a separate sphere, a different category of humanity. Having Penny in my life has opened me up to people with disabilities in general, and I’ve come to understand that we are all in the same category, the same sphere, that, in fact, people with disabilities often expose our common humanity more clearly than anyone else.
The post begins:
When our daughter Penny was diagnosed with Down syndrome two hours after she was born, I immediately worried about her future, her health, our ability to take good care of her, and our community’s willingness to accept her. I thought my world would shrink into a closed room with four walls labeled disability, special needs, developmental delays, and early intervention. But by the time she was one year old, I wanted to introduce her to strangers on the street so that they could share in her infectious smile and ready wave. I’m only five years into parenting a child with Down syndrome, but I’ve learned a few things that have helped me become a better mother to Penny (and to her younger brother and sister, who have developed typically).
To keep reading, click here.