“World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed on March 21. On this day, people with Down Syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.” (Wikipedia)
The date of March 21st (3/21) represents the triplication of chromosome 21, which leads to Down Syndrome. This date was first observed in 2006, and from that point on has taken off worldwide.
Side note: as I’m sure you’ve noticed, this was not posted on 3/21, but some time after midnight (3/22). I was going to post this while at work, but that obviously didn’t happen…
Quite honestly, most of my experience with Down Syndrome comes from the NICU – these little peanuts are absolutely adorable! Do these kiddos have health issues? Yes they do, to varying degrees. But I am glad that there is a growing movement of positivity surrounding this diagnosis, one that acknowledges the challenges while also highlighting the hope and joy that comes with raising a child with Down Syndrome.
Several years ago, I had the privilege of working with a little 5 year old girl with Down Syndrome during a kindergarten Sunday school class. She needed a “shadow” (special helper), and since I know a little bit of ASL (her preferred method of communication), they asked if I would shadow her for the day. This girl had a smile that absolutely lit up the room, and she was absolutely crazy about playing with all of the art supplies – oh, and playing with the water faucet when she had to wash her hands (I had to physically carry her away, kicking and screaming, from the faucet so that other kids could wash their hands, too. Don’t worry, she was soon distracted by a picture book and all was well again). We had a blast drawing pictures and reading books during story time. Such a bright ray of sunshine, that little girl!
One of the best parts of this day is that people will wear crazy socks to invite questions and raise awareness. Crazy patterns, mismatched socks, and even sometimes wearing three pairs to represent the triplication of chromosome 21. Pick any social media site, and you will find many posts with pictures of people wearing their crazy socks!
All life is precious. Never forget that. God made all of us so special and with such care, and he died for each and every one of us. We should never discriminate based on genetics or health condition, but love everyone as precious children of God.
For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
~ Psalm 139:13 – 16 ~