October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and we want to take the opportunity to honor all the wonderful qualities that make every child unique. With that in mind we reached out to one of our patrons, local author Amy Moy, to guest blog for us. Read on to learn a little more about the gifts and experiences of being a parent to a child with Down Syndrome in Amy’s own words. Don’t miss our booklist at the bottom of the page; it highlights Amy’s new book as well as other resources that celebrate disability pride.
While the initial prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome was devastating, my husband and I quickly realized that our baby girl was a gift, and that she could still have an extraordinary life. The life of Evie the Extraordinary has been just that. She has brought us joy, and positively impacts everyone she meets. We joke that she could be the mayor of her elementary school, because everyone seems to know her! Down Syndrome Awareness Month is a great time to share with everyone that people with Down Syndrome have so much to offer the world. Evie has been on the Jumbotron in Times Square, has been in a film shown at the United Nations, has her own YouTube channel (Evie the Extraordinary), and has inspired me to write a book about inclusion! She has shown me that there are no limits to what she can do–she just needs an extra hand–or flipper in the case of our new book–to be included. Having Evie as my daughter has shown me how much people’s differences should be celebrated. If we teach our children to celebrate differences, the world will be a better place.