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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

I've had the pleasure of working with so many children who have Down Syndrome.  I could take many pages describing their sweetness, kindness, energy, and overall aura, but in honor of this month, I think I'll talk about one I had never even met before.

I was nine months pregnant with my first child on a nice, but windy October day.  I had just left a prenatal appointment and was headed back to work.  Stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, I put on some lip gloss and waited for the light to turn green.  Bus stops are on every corner, and are fairly busy in this particular part of town.  As the light changed to green, I pressed the accelerator, when all of a sudden, without warning, my car just shut down!  I owned an older Pontiac Sunfire two-door.  I was panicked as my stalled car was stopped in the middle of this intersection, and I could barely get out of my car; much less hope to either walk to the sidewalk, or push it out of the way.

Shaking, I fumble in my purse trying to find my phone.  As my fingers fly through all the junk I've been meaning to clean out of my purse, my car starts to move.  I look to the sides and then in my rear view mirror. I can vaguely see the outline of two men pushing my car to safety, away from oncoming traffic.  When they get me to the shoulder, I hoist my shoulders out of the window calling to the men trying to thank them.  I caught the largest grin of one of them as he waved, told me, "no problem" and ran to catch a bus he almost missed.

That man had Down Syndrome.  I wish I knew his name, I wish I could have gave him a hug, or thanked him properly.  Out of ALL those people stopped at the busy intersection, it was this young man who ran to help me and then disappeared again.  He never even expected a thank you.  He just followed his heart and did what he thought was right, without thinking he might miss his bus.

During Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I would challenge everyone to just once, follow their heart without worrying they might miss the bus.  You might make a greater impact on someone's life; more than you may ever know.

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