Supporting World Down Syndrome Day on Thursday 21st March 2019 was an easy decision. A diagnosis that is often misunderstood, our Accounts Assistant Nicola Snowden-Hermitage wanted to stand up and talk about it. Her son, Mason, has Down Syndrome so it is more important to her than ever.
Next Thursday we will be sporting odd socks in honour of the Lots of Socks campaign, with staff making a small donation. Whilst the fundraising is an important part of World Down Syndrome Day, awareness brings a much greater form of donation, so we’re here to help.
We spoke to Nicola to find out more about Down Syndrome.
Due to the hard work of families of people with DS there is so much information available. People can now find out the reality of living with DS. That being said the information families are provided by the medical profession still has a long way to go. Unfortunately DS is still seen as a worse case scenario by many medical professionals when they are going by outdated views/resources. There are so many horror stories from parents out there, and this is something I experienced first hand.
Since having Mason I have become a better person – he has humbled me and made me see the good in the world. I can be having the worst day and after a cheeky grin/cuddle from him all is right with the world. It really is special to see the world through Masons innocent eyes. He has also made me realise my strength
The main thing is that DS is not something to be feared. Like everyone, each person with DS is an individual. They all have strengths and weaknesses. Just because you have DS does not mean that you are not going to succeed, does not mean you can’t add to society and does not mean that you will have an unfulfilled life. The biggest misconceptions we experience are…… ooh he doesn’t look like he has it that bad!! DS is not a scaled condition – you either have it or you don’t!! Doesn’t he look just like you?? Well as I’m his mum I would hope so!! Children with Downs are always so happy!! Trust me this is not the case – he has tantrums like every other 6 year old!
I wouldn’t say it differs being a mother to a child with Downs although Mason is my only child so I know no different I would just say that priorities differ. All children test you and Mason is no different. All children are loving and Mason is no different. It’s just with Mason you have to take a step back and realise that milestones WILL happen but it might take you slightly longer to get there. I’ve also learnt that Idon’t really need that much sleep!!!!
It helps to raise awareness and gets the subject discussed. Down Syndrome is not a dirty word and the Lots Of Socks campaign highlights that all types, shapes, sizes of socks can be unique in their own way, and yet do the same thing, just like people with Downs.
If you find out someone has a DS diagnosis don’t say Sorry – there is nothing to be sorry for! And finally, but most importantly, Mason is the best thing that ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change him for the world!