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Everything is Still Possible for My Son With Down Syndrome

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In three short weeks, my first born sons will start kindergarten. As I prepare to send them out into the world, I am convinced that everything is still possible.

Isn’t that what kindergarten is about, after all? By their very nature, kindergarteners are self-confident, adaptable, curious, eager to learn, and for them everything is still possible. Look at those boys! Both are the very essence of what a kindergartner should be. What a refreshing way to live!

When I became pregnant with my twin boys I had the same optimistic outlook, but 35.5 weeks later as I held them it seemed none of my dreams were still possible for my son who was diagnosed with Down syndrome. As my son’s birth story unfolded, I allowed the world’s perception of an intellectual disability envelope me. All the can nots and will nots strangled me in that moment. I could not see past Troy’s disability. I had forgotten all I had learned from dear Sister Immaculata in kindergarten: that everything is still possible.

It’s taken five years of preparation to believe everything truly is still possible. That’s three preschool teachers, three pediatricians, five specialists, 23 therapists, 208 hours of therapy to learn to walk, 520 hours to learn to write letters and cut with scissors, 520 hours to learn to jump and ride a trike, 650 hours to learn to speak in short phrases, 850 hours of advocacy training, 2,737.5 hours to potty train (this is probably an underestimate), and countless sleepless nights.

You might wonder how I could believe this, against these odds. But it’s these very odds that make me believe everything is still possible. Troy is amazing in his tenacity, adaptability, and hard work, and he comes by it honestly. Although Troy has been at the center of this hard work, our whole family has been there every step of the way. Our family has always loved a good challenge. We will beat the odds, or learn and grow trying.

So, bring it on kindergarten! We’ve done our homework; we’re ready for you. I knew the time would come fast. I made a bet then that my twin sons would graduate together in the year 2031, and both would have the opportunity to go to college. I’ve learned since that this is not only possible, but is happening right now. There’s over 260 college programs for students with intellectual disabilities. Self-advocates with Down syndrome are multi-million dollar business ownersinternational speakersmodelsreality TV starsathleteshusbands, wives, and loved family members. I am confident now that my very unique twins can strive for the same things in life: success, independence, security, happiness, and most of all love. Everything is still possible!

School’s back! Learn how to make this catchy bio for your child’s teachers here.

A version of this story originally appeared on Inclusion Evolution.

Originally published: August 24, 2018
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