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.”