Advantages to having a brother with Down Syndrome
I was going to title this post “How to help Sam jump off a 43 story building” but that might make some people nervous. I’ll tell you all about it in a minute, though.
Sam and George. True love. I honestly think that if every sixth grade boy got a new baby brother wtih Down Syndrome to practice Kangaroo Care with, the world would be a better place.
And for sure, if every fifteen year old boy had a little brother who totally adores him, loves nothing more than to make him laugh, and loves to fall asleep curled up on his chest, adolescence would be much more of a positive experience for many young people.
Did you know that one of the most common resons people give for aborting thier children with Down Syndrome is that they worry that the baby would somehow take away from or cause problems with the other children in the family. Can you imagine?
Maybe I’m rare in never worrying about that. We’ve just all loved George. Lots. But Sam has always had a special heart for handicapped children. When Danny was very small and went to the Easter Seals United Cerebral Palsy preschool, Sam, who was only 8 or 9 at the time, would come in with me in the afternoons and do a wonderful job playing with the little ones. I know plenty of adults who might feel uncomfortable around a non verbal quadraplegic child with a trach… not Sam. I have this image engraved in my heart of Sam lying on the floor squashed under this kid’s special chair pushing his legs out at just the right time so that he could really truly kick a ball.
But it gets even better. Sam has discovered that there are some very specific advantages to having a brother with Down Syndrome. Besides always having someone to read to. Again. And. Again.
Sam is only a couple of months from becoming an Eagle Scout, and has chosen to do his project at the preschool George attends. There aren’t a whole lot of excellent preschools that will accept, love, and totally integrate a child with DS into their community. Therefore they were an obvious choice for Sam’s Eagle project. The church preschool that George attends sees taking care of all God’s children as part of their mission. Therefore, organization and support and fundraising through the pro-life community has been wonderful. It’s awesome that George has lead Sam to the perfect Eagle Scout project.
But there’s yet ANOTHER advantage to having a brother with Down Syndrome. The Special Olympics of North Carolina is doing a fundraiser that Sam was invited to participate in just because George is his brother. If Sam raises $1000 dollars, he gets to rappel off this 43 story building in downtown Charlotte. Yes, that big sharp scary looking building. Please excuse the pun, but he jumped at the chance What 15 year old guy wouldn’t?
http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/samdehority/2011overtheedgecharlottebenefitingspecialolympicsn Go read about his jump, and his explanation about why he's doing it. I agree with Sam; there are definitely advantages to having a brother with Down Syndrome.