Lately I’ve been asked to write a thing here or there for various purposes. And I figure if I write them, might as well let them serve double duty as a blog post, right? Glad you agree.
This one was for the DSAGSL.org blog on the upcoming WDSD celebrations.
It’s always nice to have a reason to celebrate, and in the Down syndrome community, March 21 is a great day to do some big celebrating!
Chosen because of the numerical similarity to the medical name for Down syndrome (Trisomy 21, 3 copies of the 21st chromosome), 3/21 each year is a day to celebrate those we love who have Down syndrome and to make others aware of the intrinsic value of individuals with Down syndrome. Only recently has it taken on a larger audience, but World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is becoming a full-blown holiday in many areas. The blue and yellow that are held to be Down syndrome awareness colors are often seen in creative ways on March 21.
Locally, many families and groups celebrate WDSD in a variety of ways. Last year, my friend and I made iron –on transfers and created shirts that we and our kids proudly wore that day, telling those around us that we were “celebrating EXTRA blessings.” Some of our teachers and therapists also requested shirts when they heard we were making them, so there were many matching shirts bringing awareness at the school that our kids attended. It was an encouraging show of support and exemplified the love that these team members have for our children. We also took in blue and yellow frosted cupcakes to share with the classes of our kids, and we read books about Down syndrome and talked about how we all are different in some ways, but in the most important ways, we are the same.
There are many ways to celebrate WDSD and use it as a chance to bring up conversations with friends, family, and coworkers about why we are so proud of our loved ones with Down syndrome. Here are a few ideas and examples of what others have done.
· Take cookies or cupcakes to school/ work decorated with blue and yellow (the DS awareness colors). Make a little note with a picture of your child to leave next to the goodies in the break room inviting coworkers to celebrate with you.
· Pass out tootsie pops with different colored wrappers with a note that says we all look different on the outside, but it is what is on the inside that counts
· Read a book to your child’s class
Age Appropriate Books:
· My Friend Isabelle (ages 2-6)
· Hi, I’m Ben and I’ve Got a Secret (ages 2-6)
· Taking Down Syndrome to School (ages 5-10)
· Pass out World Down Syndrome Day posters
· Wear a Tshirt http://dsagsl.org/awareness-advocacy/world-down-syndrome-day/
· Post facts about DS or celebrate your child on Facebook, Twitter, or send an email to family and friends
· Mail a postcard to family and friends celebrating your child. One last year showed a friend playing the guitar with a note that said “Rocking his extra chromosome”
· Have a “Genes” day or Dress down for Down syndrome day at work. Have people donate the $ to the DSAGSL.
· Share a you tube video
· Just Like You Down Syndrome
· National Down Syndrome Society, Everyone Counts
So choose one of these or get creative with your own celebration ideas! Just make sure that you take this chance to tell someone about how proud you are of your loved one, how valuable and precious they are.
If you’d like to join a group for a celebration, come out to St. Charles for the 1st Annual StC WDSD Party! We would love to have you celebrate with us!