Another October has come and gone. Another 31 for 21 finished.
Thanks to everyone for participating in the annual blogging challenge for Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
I know some people express that it gets harder every year to blog every single day in the month of October; especially about Down syndrome specifically. I know it feels like you've come to a point where you've said (blogged) all there is to say about Down syndrome.
But please don't be discouraged. From the beginning (Tricia) said that every single day didn't have to be a post that was Down-syndrome related; and that still stands today. The point of the challenge is just that - a challenge to yourself to blog every day. If you miss a few days - it's ok! - the blog police are not going to come get you!
And even if you feel like you've said all there is to say - just remember, you never know who all is reading your blog. Every day there is a possibility of a new family getting a Down syndrome diagnosis and they might stumble across your blog. You never know who you are reaching. You never know who might come away from your blog that day with a better understanding of life with a child with Down syndrome.
Maybe it's time to change the name to National Down Syndrome Awareness and Acceptance Month. I know there is some consensus in the Down syndrome community that awareness has been raised and we don't need to raise anymore awareness; that people are aware and what we need to be advocating for is acceptance.
I agree about acceptance, but I'm not so sure the intentions behind awareness have been fully met. Yes people are aware of Down syndrome. They know of Down syndrome, but there are still stereotypes. There are still misconceptions. There are still negative and false assumptions about people with Down syndrome.
For the new parent receiving the diagnosis of Down syndrome are they really aware of what that means today? Or do they still have an outdated image in their mind of what Down syndrome was years ago?
Has the right kind of awareness been raised outside of the community? The kind of awareness that paints a more accurate picture of the capabilities of people with Down syndrome? Or are people still not aware about Down syndrome until they have a reason to be - until they have a loved one with Down syndrome in their lives.
I don't claim to have all the answers, but I don't think we can totally stop the campaign to raise awareness either. I think we need to expand that campaign from awareness to include acceptance though. Hmm... should I start a change.org petition to get "Acceptance" added on to that monthly designation?
Since today is also the day after Halloween here are a few Halloween pictures of The Supergirl, The Pirate, The (not-so-bandwagon) Red Sox fan, and The Civilian!