Saturday, October 31, 2015

DSAM: Dad's Devotion

The 31st day of October marks the end of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. For me DSAM is every month but I am grateful to have this time to share information, shatter myths/misconceptions and hopefully shed new light on this marginalized population. Over the last month I have shared personal stories, expert advice and information about speech, occupational therapy and education. I have also had the pleasure of sharing several stories from amazing mothers in my community. My last DSAM blog for the month is from the best Father any child could ask for. Four children have been blessed to call this man 'Dad'. My husband wanted to share his thoughts about our son and the Down Syndrome community and I could not think of a more perfect way to close this amazing awareness month.

Blake has brought so much awareness and compassion to my life for a community I had overlooked.  Blake has Down syndrome, not “Downs” as many people unknowingly refer to it as, surprisingly including several doctors I have encountered.  Blake has love, passion, fear, anger and all the emotions so called “normal” people have. 
I am learning to slow down in my everyday busy life in being patient with his often delayed cognitive processes.  In approaching life in such a manner I see how much is missed by having expectations for instant gratification and results which plagues our society.  Many people are searching for ways to be more present living in the moment via yoga, meditation, etc. while Blake has taught me this just by spending time with him.  He has also taught me to be more accepting and compassionate towards others.  He is completely nonjudgmental.  This is one of his strengths that many adults could learn from.  Much of my evolution has taken place naturally by being in his life.  

I have had people say how sorry they are when I tell them my son has Down syndrome and my response is why?  I feel sorry for all the people who do not take the time to educate themselves about people with disabilities and the families who care for them.  I have been disgusted with the discrimination I have experienced with many people in how they treat people with disabilities. 

 I treat Blake the same as my other three children, each of whom has their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses.  I put more time into helping each of them in the areas where they need more support as do any loving parents.  Blake truly brings joy to life along with many challenges as do children in general.  Blake is making me a better person each and every day.  He has a purpose in this life that I can see unfolding in the goodness he has brought to so many he has touched.  

I am honored to be Blake’s father.

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