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Downs Syndrome Doesn't Mean Dumb!
(my daughter and teacher Ms. Karen)
Special Needs Children Are Smart Too!
I have a little girl named Ja'Miracle. She is now six years old. She was diagnosed with downs syndrome when she was six months old after her doctor noticed she had certain features. I did not know what to expect as I had heard about downs syndrome and had seen people with it but did not know anyone personally with downs. I was a little fearful thinking that maybe she would be somewhat strange or different and maybe people would pick on her or stare. Honestly I noticed that she had certain features but from the time I brought her home from the hospital she did not seem much different from any other baby. She cried when she was hungry or wet. She knew how to suck from a bottle and she did things that most babies would do.
When it came time for her to crawl and walk however we noticed that she had trouble doing both. Children with downs syndrome have low muscle tone, therefore they have to have physical and occupational therapy. A therapist from the awesome Babies Can't Wait program came to my home at least three times a week to work with her from the time she was diagnosed until the time she was three years old. Therapist taught her how to crawl and walk. Sometimes I look at how busy she is now and think to myself if only people knew the struggle this child has been through surely she is a miracle.
Children with downs syndrome have what they call moderate to severe delays in learning and certain areas like crawling, walking, and talking. My daughter was only about two months delayed in crawling and walking, however she is very delayed with speech. She can talk but in my opinion she talks more like a child just beginning to learn how to talk. It is funny because when a child with downs finally says a new word the whole family rejoices. I can remember the first time she said mommie, I cried like a baby. There are times when I wish I can carry a full conversation with her but the good new is that in time we will have that conversation.
Other than the delays she is very smart. It is kind of strange because we notice that in certain areas she is way above where she should be but in other areas there are the delays. She can't read yet but she is writing and drawing pictures, and is extremely good with sign language. Today she receives speech therapy and occupational therapy in school and of course sign language. I have been told by her teachers that she is the little teachers helper. Last year she took part in the Special Olympics and received a ribbon with her picture taken in the newspaper in our city.
If you are someone that has a child with downs syndrome or is a special needs child and you are interested in your child participating in the special olympics here is a website that will help you http://www.specialolympics.org/ .
I wrote this article because I feel that special needs children are under estimated. They can learn and achieve anything that anybody else can! They grow, they move on in life, and they are even capable of holding a job, going to college, and having families. We are now seeing them in Hollywood which proves that special needs children are just as smart as anyone else!