Dear World Down Syndrome Day Supporter….
Thank you for wearing odd socks in my honour.
They’re a talking point, colourful, and fun to see.
I’m just not too sure they are really about me.
Rename them ‘lots of socks’ if you prefer, instead of calling them odd.
The thing is, I’m neither odd nor plural. There is only one of me.
Ah but socks look like Chromosomes you’re keen to explain.
Yes they do, so true, yet you also have those. Minus one of course, but otherwise you’re just the same .
Both should rhyme with humanity.
Oh please don’t feel got at…I’ve worn mine too!
I’m always up for some fun, often much more than you!
It’s just you gave me some last year, and the year before that.
And I’ve noticed a pattern forming. A habit; one that leaves me a bit flat.
These socks keep coming, year after year.
That’s nice… but there are other things I’d very much prefer.
When I’m older, I might like a job; will you help me find suitable employment?
Or invite me to your parties, welcome me, enhance my enjoyment?
Include me at your meetings, give me a seat at the table.
See me as your equal and perfectly able
to contribute to the conversation in whatever way I can. Whatever the subject may be, especially, no –always – if the subject is me.
Support research into my health so I can live well, like you. Stand up for my rights, remove all taboo.
Help me learn new skills, give me roles to fulfill. I’m very keen to be active and not forced to sit still.
Just imagine – with nothing to do, your days spent at home; you’d get bored very quickly and feel quite alone.
Don’t stay silent when others say my life has no worth.
Their influence is strong; complicit in deciding the fate of others like me, well before birth.
Champion me, not only with socks, but with all you can muster.
Stand up for me, defend me, be a myth buster.
Give those who will love me all the help they may need
To nurture me, teach me, help me succeed.
Don’t abandon them or leave them – at times -feeling so alone.
Give them all the support you are able; help set the tone.
So wear the socks if you like; the bright colours I love and am happy to see.
So long as you then take them off and walk barefoot with me.
The DSRF are the UK’s only Down’ Syndrome Research Charity. Their vision is a long, healthy, happy life for people with Down’s syndrome (DS) and their families. The Foundation is a charity born out of a parent’s love and a passion for the very best evidence-based interventions. You can donate to their work if you wish here.