Downright Joy

Discovering joy in unexpected places – a journey into Down's syndrome, Dyspraxia & Autism


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You

I see you, Autistic Man, Woman, Teenager, Child.

My child.

I see you claim your identity.

You wear it proudly, a mark of distinction. Unashamed of who you are.

You are, some say, a person with Autism, but you’re not having that.

You do not shy away from your label, for it is sewn into the very fabric of your being.

Each thread woven together in its diverse and beautiful pattern.

You are happily defined by it. It does not frighten you; neither does it frighten me.

You are fully human.

You are my first born child.

I see

You.

I see you Down syndrome Man, Woman, Teenager, Child.

My child.

I see others decide your identity for you. Defining it and, in so doing, devaluing it.

I see others, myself included, debate your identity. You are not, they say, a Down syndrome Man, Woman, Teenager, Child. My Down syndrome child.

You are, they say, a person with Down syndrome.

And yet..

Your label, your extra chromosome, is sewn into every fibre of your being.

Each thread woven together in its diverse and beautiful pattern.

You may be happily aware of it or, like my child, you may be happily unaware of it.

But you are, I venture to say, defined by it and that should be ok, for Down syndrome is a glorious thing!

It does not frighten you; neither does it frighten me.

If others did not seek to devalue your identity and your worth there would be no need to debate it. People would simply accept it. Accept you.

You are fully human.

You are my second born child.

I see

You.