Black Day: The Monster Rock Band

To read on Huffington Post website:

How My Son Chooses to Teach Down Syndrome Awareness

Mardra Sikora  Author, Speaker, Advocate   10/16/2015


This has been my dilemma as Marcus and I have met each new group. Should we talk about Down syndrome? And to what extent? It is, after all, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and Marcus does happen to have Down syndrome.

In the case of the first graders we visited in Georgia, they were pretty focused on the monsters in the band, the angry mob, and loving the music. Marcus told these students if they want to write stories they need to, « Write your letters. Read books. See Musicals. » Then, « Do what you want. » After the children had a chance to ask their questions about the monsters and the Halloween magic, they lined up and followed their teachers back to their classrooms. None of the first graders had a question about Down syndrome.

However, the difference between first graders and third graders is a very long two years. The problem, from my perspective, is two-fold. One is that Down syndrome can be summed up as a common chromosomal condition involving the 21st chromosome, but of course, there is so much more to say, teach, and explain than this one sentence. There are many points involving science, medical information, social implications, not to mention the emotional triggers any diagnosis brings to the forefront. Secondly, Marcus himself has said in an interview, this book has « nothing to do with Down syndrome. »

Yet, as Marcus’ mother, co-author, and accidentally appointed publicist, chauffer and travel manager, I know that for many others – especially other parents – this book, animated short, and Marcus’ meet and greets have everything to do with Down syndrome awareness. (…)

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