Thursday, October 6, 2011

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Since October of 1981, the Down syndrome community has been celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

The National Down Syndrome Society has issued a press release.  I share a part of it here:
This October, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) invites the country to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in recognition of the many achievements and abilities of people with Down syndrome. 
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition, one in every 733 live births is a baby born with Down syndrome, and it is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Advancements in education, research and advocacy have had a tremendous impact on the opportunities that individuals with Down syndrome have to live healthy and fulfilling lives. People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
I wrote a post last year about this time.  Similar post this time, with updated photos.

First day of school

Caroline is my daughter. She has Down syndrome. She's seven years old. She's in first grade and loves to read.  Last week she got a 111 on her written spelling test.  She knew all the words.  She got bonus points for using capitalization and punctuation correctly.

She's got a great sense of humor and loves to play pranks.  She's involved in the children's choir at church.  They're getting ready for their Christmas program.

She wants to play in the annual Hoops for Hope fundraiser for DSAG, but she's still too young.  This year, Pat Summit was able to attend part of the festivities, along with the Vols and Lady Vols basketball teams.
2011 Hoops for Hope

Yes, Greg, I included this shot for you.
Caroline as the Night Owl at the Knoxville Zoo

Caroline at a Smokies game
Caroline's best buddy, Grandma.  This was on the Fourth of July holiday.
Grandma and Caroline on Lake Loudon

Caroline at Emily's wedding
She's a normal kid.  Except that she has three copies of the 21st chromosome. On Sunday my family will be walking on her behalf at the Buddy Walk sponsored by the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee.

This is where I go all selfish dad-like. If you'd like to be a part of Caroline's team, please visit her pledge page.

I haven't had to climb up on my respect soapbox lately.  For that, I deeply thank you.


  1. Congrats to Caroline on her spelling test! Good luck at the Buddy Walk.

  2. Whooooooooo-ray for Caroline! I remember 7-year-old girls. They're a hoot.

    Have fun on the Buddy Walk.

  3. A 111 huh? That's awesome. I don't think I've ever seen a kid that happy about the first day of school! I hope you're surrounded by lots of buddies at the Walk.

  4. Gotta love a kid who not only scores a hundred, but also turns it up to eleven.

    And I do.