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My Child's Down Syndrome Is Not a 'Problem'

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751 days ago, my daughter Isabella came into my life. For 751 days, I have advocated for her. I know her medical record by heart. I swore the day she was born, I’d always fight for her. I have made it my daily mission to share her beautiful journey with the world in hopes of helping others with theirs. And today, today I believe I failed her… 751 days of advocating, and I froze in a split second.

The author's daughter

The phone rang; it was the hospital calling to review her medical history for her upcoming surgery. Simple enough, right? We were finishing up, and then the woman I was speaking to had one last question: “Any more problems, well, other than the Down syndrome?” All I could say was no. But why?

I wanted so badly to speak up, and I didn’t say anything. Now, I’m sure many will say, “What’s the big deal?” Well, because I don’t see Down syndrome as a problem. Does she have some medical issues that are common in individuals with Down syndrome? Yes. But they are not “problems.”

Webster’s dictionary defines problem as: “something that is difficult to deal with; something that is a source of trouble, worry, etc.; difficulty in understanding something; a feeling of not liking or wanting to do something.” If you think that sounds like my life, you’d be wrong. Her medical condition is just life. The problems come from worrying about how others will treat my child or the lack of acceptance for individuals with different abilities. I’d prefer that when someone thinks of Down syndrome, they don’t instantly think “problem,” but rather a life full of love — unconditional, pure love.

I wish I could do that phone call over again, but I can’t. However, I can continue to do my best, and tomorrow is a new day.

Follow this journey on the Isabella “Amazing” Grace Facebook page.

Have you seen the first film with a national release to star a person with Down syndrome? Check out the film “Where Hope Grows” today!

Available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.

Originally published: July 22, 2016
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