Dear Mom or Dad,
1. I am a person first. Down syndrome does not define who I am or what I can grow up to become.
2. I am happy with my life. I like who I am and I like the way I look. I am proud of who I am. You are proud of me too. If you haven’t gotten there yet, don’t worry, you will.
3. Dancing is most likely going to be a big part of our life now.
4. It is okay for me to have other friends with Down syndrome. It is okay for me to have friends that don’t have a disability too. I need a healthy social life.
5. I may take longer to learn some things but I will pretty much want a boyfriend or girlfriend around the same time as the other kids at my school.
6. Speaking of school, I can go to college if I choose. Believe in me. Challenge me. Include me. Don’t give up on my education.
7. I know you want to protect me from anything that can harm me but sometimes I need to learn lessons the hard way. It is a part of growing up. Help me learn my lessons in a safe environment. When I want to do something, Let me try. If I can’t do it, I will figure that out on my own.
8. I really need you to be my advocate. This world is still not as accepting of me as I wish it were. I will need you to stand up for me until I am viewed as an equal.
9. I am a productive member of society. I want to give back to the community and I am depending on you to help me realize my strengths and showcase them. I deserve every opportunity to be my best self.
10. I know that you are dedicating everything you have to making the world a better place for me. I also need you to take care of yourself. I need you to be the best you can be and set a positive example for how to live my life when I am your age. Connect with other parents that have a child with Down syndrome. You are part of a very special and lucky group of people now…
Thank you for being my parent. This is really going to be great!