The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10017
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Cause for Celebration
Cause for Celebration

We have a beautiful 7 year old daughter, Anna, who has Down syndrome. She is fully included in a first grade general education classroom. Her particular teacher hands out a homework packet at the beginning of each week. The expectation is that it is returned by Friday morning. Part of this homework, is to memorize a poem, illustrate it, and then to get up in front of the whole class every Friday to recite the poem. We weren't sure how this was going to play out with Anna, but as with everything, we were going to figure out a way to complete the homework as expected! Thus we sat with Anna every night and worked on memorizing the poem. By that first Friday in September we were so happy that she had memorized it! We proudly emailed a video of Anna reciting the poem back to her teacher. She was thrilled! Now it was time to recite the poem, one by one, the other children in the class got up and recited their poem. As Anna's turn came up, she froze. She is tentative by personality, so this wasn't entirely unexpected. The teacher in turn, took her into the hallway with two other peers and Anna recited the memorized poem to them. She continued down this path, for a number of months. This was all cause for celebration, but an even greater moment for celebration came in January when Anna got up in front of the whole class, holding a good friend's hand, and recited the whole poem to the class. At this point she not only continues to recite her poem to the whole class, but does so excitedly! She continues to ask a friend to come up with her and hold her hand, her friends get so excited when she asks them! This has not only been a huge sense of accomplishment not only for her, but recognized by the whole class. We love you Anna!

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Gretchen N Vaught, United States, TN
8/3/2011 9:40:38 AM
We have a 7 year-old son who does not have Down syndrome and reciting a poem in front of the class was an equal cause for celebration with him last year! We are also new parents for the fourth time, this time to a baby with Down syndrome.

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