Friday, January 23, 2009

“I Have a Dream”: Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome

When watching a few clips yesterday about the inauguration, I saw, among other things, a clip from the “I have a Dream” speech of Martin L. King. It really gave me a sense of the great changes that have been wrought during the years I have resided on this planet.
But as a parent of a child with Down syndrome, I also have a dream:

I HAVE A DREAM that one day people will see my daughter, and see HER, not her diagnosis.

I have a dream that one day my daughter will be able to walk the street without being subjected to stares.

I have a dream that someday “retarded”, “imbecile”, and “moron” will be a simple description of intelligence, and not an insult.

I have a dream that the world will value people for being created in the image of G-d, and not for what they earn.

I have a dream that the government will someday have the foresight to realize that educating special needs children and adults to be independent is less costly than supporting non-independent adults, and act on that knowledge.

I have a dream that adults with Down syndrome will get a reasonable salary for the work that they do.

I have a dream that people will one day realize that my daughter is not just a burden, a “cosmic mistake”, but that she adds to the value of our lives and society.

And the only way to reach this dream is to wake up, and take a stand, as Rosa Parks did one day, and say “I am a person, oh not so different than you.”

4 comments:

Belinda said...

I applaud your dream for Ricky and others, and say Amen!

RivkA with a capital A said...

beautiful

Something Different said...

Wow, as someone who volunteers a lot with special needs children/young adults I found that so beautiful.

Tonya said...

LOVE and share your dream!