“I love the month of October – the invigorating colors and crispness in the air, and the return of pumpkin lattes. October – which is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month - also brings an amazing group of “differently-abled people” into the public’s eye.
During this month, I enjoy beautiful pictures of children and individuals with Down syndrome that otherwise do not grace the covers of parenting magazines, or mix into interesting segments on talk shows. I hear about children who bring great empathy and friendship into their integrated classrooms, or the high school graduate who passed the MCAS and is now acclimating to dorm life at college. I read the articles about families who now see an extra chromosome as an unexpected and priceless gift that they would not change for the world. Most importantly, I see people who resemble my son, and who inspire me to think about his future and all the possibilities that fill it. National Down Syndrome Awareness Month reminds me of the beauty that diversity brings in our community, like the vibrant fall colors we enjoy in the landscape this time of year.
On Sunday, October 12, The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress will host the annual Buddy Walk and Family Picnic in Wakefield. It will be a fun-filled day that brings together family members, friends, teachers, co-workers, and community members to raise awareness, and celebrate the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their accomplishments. Registration and pre-walk festivities begin at noon and the 3-mile, scenic walk around Lake Quannapowitt will kick off at 1pm from the gazebo. Following the walk, families and friends will enjoy a picnic, music, face painting, and activities for the kids. Please visit www.mdsc.org for more information.”