Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The "R" Word

The "R" word is very controversial.  It is not about right or wrong. It is about RESPECT for those who happen to be sons, daughters, brothers and sisters regardless their developmental challenges. I have never comment about what I think about the "R" word. I personally don't use it, not in Spanish nor in English. I remember when I was a child, my mom always told me: "Never joke or laugh about other peoples' disadvantages, you never know when it can be you." She is right!

I have the opportunity to play with developmental challenge kids when I was in Elementary school. I knew they had challenges, but what we all did in my class was to play with them, they were included. I don't remember how many kids were in the IPHE (translation: Panamanian Institute of Special Abilities) class, but I remember all of them have different diagnosis, and there was a child with Trisomy 21, who was very popular in the whole school. I have a vivid memory of this little kid giving high five to one of my favorite teachers. There were not differences!

When I was in 3rd grade, one of my neighbor's kid was in the same class with me. One day, my mom and my neighbor were talking at my house. I remember my mom called me to come to the leaving room. My neighbor explained to me her daughter's diagnosis and why it was so important that I played with her and helped her in the class. What was told in the conversation to me, I never told it to any classmate in my class. I did what I was told to do because it made me feel good. I learned about TOLERANCE and ACCEPTANCE. I learned that we all are DIFFERENT, but we can be INCLUDED.

My mom was always teaching us about everything she could, but the best of all, she didn't forget to teach us about moral values. Are you doing it with your kids?

Please watch this powerful video that
teach about TRUE LOVE.
So next time you use the "R" word think about it.

This video was created by the daughter of the leader
of our local Down Syndrome Parents Group. She didn't know 
her daughter posted this video in YouTube until recently.
She decided to share it with the group.

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