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When Strangers Only See My Child's Down Syndrome Diagnosis

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A friend I know from social media recently shared a conversation she had at the library for story time. She noticed a lady staring at her youngest child, who has Down syndrome. The lady said to her, “She’s Downs, right?” My friend responded, “Her name is Victoria and she has Down syndrome.”

When you meet someone for the first time, remember they are not a diagnosis.

We are more alike than different!

Not only in this situation, but in others, many see those who have a disability or anyone who is different in any way as inferior. It may not be something they feel is true about themselves and would never admit to it publicly, but that subconscious feeling of viewing anyone who is different as inferior is there. That is why many speak to others without acknowledging their personhood and focus on a diagnosis.

I say this, not condescendingly, but with insight because I have been guilty of these types of subconscious feelings myself. Advocating is key. While social media is fine and dandy, I believe many who don’t personally know anyone who has a disability see our posts and possibly say to themselves, “Awe, that’s sweet,” and keep scrolling.

Our real progress with advocacy is when we have moments like my friend did in the library, with a personal contact.

When we are given a moment to make a change in any given day, seize that moment! Carpe Diem with love and kindness!

Henry Blackaby is a pastor and has a study guide called, “Experiencing God.” In this book, he says God is always at work around us. He invites us to join Him and it is up to us to do so. I believe that.

Moments are given to us to make a difference daily.

May I realize I have a mission field around me every single day.

We can make a difference if we are willing to do so with love.

Originally published: April 23, 2019
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