I'm thankfully & constantly asked by students & teachers to be a part of school projects, assignments or teaching lessons...I love that Happy Soul Project is somehow influencing young minds and hopefully showing them to think outside the norm...
That being said in the last week or so, Happy Soul Project has been included in over a dozen school project's in which students interviewed me about Pip and Down syndrome...While I think this is beyond awesome, it has also made me think a bit more about the whole Down syndrome side of Pip...In day to day life I kinda forget about that piece of her.
One question asked all the time is "What is Down syndrome?" - A simple enough question right? So to find a correct definition I of course did a Google search and I gotta say I'm kinda bummed with the outcome:
- Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition that is associated with intellectual disability, a characteristic facial appearance, and weak muscle tone(hypotonia)in infancy.
- People with Down syndrome may have a variety of birth defects. About half of all affected children are born with a heart defect.
- With appropriate intervention, most children with Down syndrome live active, productive lives into at least middle age.
- Individuals with Down syndrome have an increased risk of developing several medical conditions.
- Usually, children born with the condition have some degree of mental retardation, as well as characteristic physical features. Many of these children also have other health problems.
- A congenital disorder arising from a chromosome defect, causing intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities including short stature and a broad facial profile.
- A birth defect that allows a person to have eyes that look swollen, fingers that are a little meatier than usual, and they might have difficulties learning.
- Down syndrome(or Down's syndrome )has replaced earlier terms, such as mongolism to refer to the disease and Mongoloid or Mongolto refer to the affected person, all of which are now considered offensive.
- Down syndrome causes mental retardation, a characteristic facial appearance, and multiple malformations.
- Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by an error in cell division that results in an extra 21st chromosome.
Almost everything after these definitions states something like Down syndrome can be detected or even words like "prevented" in pre-natal testing.
Kind of shocking - I mean if I was a new momma and had pre-natal testing done and found out my baby had Down syndrome and did a Google search and came up with all of this I'd be scared, real scared..."Error, malformations, intellectually impaired, medical conditions, physical abnormalities, swollen eyes, meaty fingers and live until at least middle age".
So new momma, yes Down syndrome is and can be quite scary but it also can be so much more...Like anything in life it can be what you make it to be...
Yes Pip has a lot of what these definitions state but she is not defined by it. She is more than low muscle tone, heart defects, and facial features. She is not an ERROR, her cells divided but not by error - she is exactly who she is made to be and she is here for a purpose, extra chromosomes and all...
I hope somehow, someway when you Google search Down syndrome you don't get bogged down like I just did in the definition...I hope you find Pip and others that are showing the world what else Down syndrome is - Breaking out of the mold and creating a new definition.