There are moments when I run out of steam. Times when I am so fed up with people’s ignorance and the lack of resources for persons with Down Syndrome. There are times when I get tired of advocating for my child and I just wish I did not have to…I wish society was designed to accommodate persons with Down Syndrome so that I didn’t have to be constantly fighting an uphill battle.
Take, for example, when my child was in school…the same school that I taught at for years. Some heartless parents thought they had the right to demand from the principal that my child be kicked out of the school, as they did not want my child around their children (apparently, in their minds, Down Syndrome is contagious & their children were at risk). These are the same people, in addition to many others, whose children would have benefitted from my teaching and guidance as an experienced and senior teacher. These same people looked at my child, saw her disability and decided she had a plague. Fortunately, the principal handled the situation professionally and my child got to exercise her right to an education.
Moments like that drain my energy and sometimes kill my hope. Why does my child matter less than yours? Why does my child have to prove that her life is worth living? Why can’t we have a society that accommodates the different learning abilities and thus, prepare all persons for life?
Sometimes, I get so tired.
Caregiver: Pat Country: Jamaica