October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I advocate for her smile.

La Taasha Byrd is FND Multicultural Coordinator. She shares through this short blogpost the reasons why she advocates for her daughter. The most important as she says, she advocates for her smile!

Hearing that your child may be born with a disability is difficult.  Realizing that the ‘maybe’ is a reality is even more difficult.  As parents to children with disabilities, we advocate for every aspect of their lives: in the community, in our families, in schools, and in organizations. Everywhere.

Though it may seem a tiresome and thankless job, we push through another day to give them the opportunities they so richly deserve and to learn something about ourselves in the process.  October gives us the chance to ramp up those efforts to create awareness for the extra chromosome which designates Down syndrome but does not harbor boundaries for those loved ones we care for.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  How do you advocate?  

I advocate for her smile.  And for the opportunities that make her smile. 

And for the people who she encounters who may not have known much about Down syndrome but now associate her smile with a condition that is no longer frightening. 

And for the chances, she gets to show her independence. 

And then I smile.

For the life lessons that would have never been realized without a gentle nudge from nature, we are thankful. 

They have taught us to use those lessons to remove stigmas associated with disability and those who care for the disabled. 

They have taught us that there are no challenges we cannot face and conquer one step at a time. 

Most importantly, however, they have taught us that we can always push through another day….with a smile.


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