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People With Down Syndrome Are Finally Taking The World By Storm!
It is official! My daughter wants to be a teacher. She is 8 and probably a little late in zeroing on the profession she wants to pursue, but she has finally made up her mind. The fact that she has Down syndrome did not change anything. In fact, one day, I gave her the list of all that she can become, and she carefully chose ‘Teacher.’ She also wanted to become ‘Papa’, but I explained how that might be a little too difficult.
A few years ago, this answer would’ve made me cry or have made me miserable. The time when I didn’t know any better and when searching for ‘the possible careers for down syndrome adults, I used to see no real prospects of her landing anywhere other than the sympathy jobs. Such days used to send me into a hole for a few days, but I learned to cope better.
Now, I celebrate every victory, every achievement of persons with Down syndrome around the world, thinking they are paving the way for my daughter and for many others like her. The general perception about people with DS is changing every minute. Our kids are defying the common wisdom or the lack of it to make this world a better place for everyone who is different. And, the best part is that the world is finally coming to terms with Down syndrome, and I am happy that she is born in this age and time and not fifty years earlier when just bringing her up at home would’ve been considered an achievement. In the last few years, I’ve seen wonderful accomplishments from people with Down syndrome. Attending the ‘World Down Syndrome Congress’ in Chennai, gave me a great opportunity to see and meet people who in spite of the extra chromosome made their mark and continue to do so.
Today, we have actors, teachers, models, musicians, computer professionals, classical dancers, yoga teachers, painters and many more who happens to have Down syndrome. These amazing people give us all a hope for a future where our children will be able to do what they want to, without being told otherwise.
In my quest to know more about all that the amazing people with DS are doing all over the world, I made a small list of careers where they are absolutely rocking it. I am sharing this list with all the parents and professionals to spread this message to all those who doubted the abilities of our children. Let’s all celebrate this world, which is finally coming to terms with Down syndrome.
The Actor: David DeSanctis
David grew up with an interest in drama, choir and broadcast journalism and was an active participant in all three in school years. He also played hosts for local events that supported people with Down syndrome. David is an avid reader with great computer skills. Watch more about David here.
The Motivational speaker and a decorated swimmer: Karen Gaffeny
A long-distance swimmer who participated in a relay team that crossed the English Channel; Karen also swam the width of Lake Tahoe. Karen Gaffney became the first living person with Down syndrome to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Portland for her work in raising awareness regarding the abilities of people with Down syndrome. A motivational speaker par excellence, Karen gives many families a ray of hope and to the world a better perspective. See More here