|Emmanuel with his sister|
Being a mother of a Down syndrome child has changed my perspectives towards children with special needs. Thanks to my son Emmanuel – who helped me understand that every life has a value. As he was the second child I did not know what to expect, despite knowing that he will be a special child.
My daughter was born very healthy and I did not even worry about her developmental stages; she did everything at the right time, and it was a joy to see her accomplish all the milestones.
Emmanuel was a different experience, as he had taken his own time to reach the milestone. Living in a joint family has its advantages as well as its disadvantages; the advantage is the support one gets in taking care of kids. The biggest disadvantage is the tendency to compare children, and the expectations on the children that he/she has to reach the milestone as per the norm.
|Me, my son Emmanuel and my daughter Maria Dorothy|
Being an optimist I always sang songs for Emmanuel and spoke to him in his ears that he is most beautiful, unique and a precious child, singing affirmations, believing in God and trusting in myself, to a large extent I managed to help Emmanuel, the first thing I got his IQ level checked, and then went on exploring how to help him in integrating him into the normal school. With my limited understanding, I started exploring schools for him and this was a tough job
|My Son Emmanuel|
This experience also reminded me of the challenges I faced in taking care of my son for seven years; Emmanuel was sick very often, and with delayed speech, schooling was a major problem; with limited options I struggled and always worried about his future; despite knowing well that he was my present and I need t focus in living in the now… it was not easy as I saw him progress slowly, I felt compelled to ensure that he should have secure life, little did I realize that his time here on earth was limited; his life had a value of its own and he had a message for me and all those surrounded him, to love, laugh and spread cheer..
I feel grateful and happy to have made a positive choice to have a special child, despite all types of feedbacks and criticisms about Down syndrome kids, who are looked down as a mental health problem, an inconvenience and nuisance to be dealt with.
I am blessed and privileged to have had a Down syndrome son, who was brought so much of love and happiness in my life and in our family, his simplicity, innocence and the charming smile was enough for me to brighten my day.
I feel strongly that there is need to spread awareness on Down syndrome… I don’t know how and what needs to be done... there is a desire in me to reach out and I felt optimistic when I met Mahesh, a down syndrome child in one of our family function, he surprised me by touching my feet and greeted me and my husband with folded hands, saying namaste with a smile.
I did not take my eyes of him, till the end of the family function, and it was such a pleasure to interact with him, and to know that he is going to school and doing well. I found his parents so loving and caring, treating him with so much kindness and warmth, that I could not forget him till today.
I am positive and hopeful that attitudes of people will change, and these children will be treated with respect. I do my bit on speaking about, and being sensitive and generous in dealing with children with special needs and spread awareness through whatever opportunity I get in my life. I am glad to dedicate this post to all the Down syndrome kids for making this world a beautiful place; and most important for giving lessons of unconditional love and redefining everything in life.