The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

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Kaley
Ms. Kaley with Her Niece
Ms. Kaley with Her Niece
Kaley

The other day, I read a comment someone posted calling Down syndrome abnormal. I've tried to let it go and forget it but I can't. I guess I never realized until that moment that I don't see it that way. I have a sister with Down syndrome, and I cannot believe that she is abnormal. If anything, she's more normal than anyone I have met in my life. People to think that "people like her" have this need to be wanted or accepted or viewed the same as everyone else. I have to disagree. Never once have I watched Kaley cry over being picked on. Never once did she walk by someone and say "I wish that was me." Never once has she longed for a different life, praying to be somewhere else. I have a specific memory when we went to the park. While there, I heard some yelling and walked to the slide where Kaley was playing. There was a group of young boys laughing and throwing things at her. I was livid, but before I could make a move, Kaley shook her head (almost in disbelief) and stepped towards them and growled at them. I mean, really growled. The boys all looked at each other in shock, and when Kaley made a menacing step towards them, they picked up their bikes and rode off. I was in awe, but Kaley, she had already forgotten their presence and was back to playing by the swings. The best part of Kaley is that she lives without regret. Perhaps it's because she has Down syndrome, perhaps something else. She's won the gold at the state SpecialOlympics, she's rode a horse, but mostly Kaley has lived. Yes, Kaley will never drive. She will never be able to live without a caregiver, but does that make her abnormal? What about these girls getting themselves on television because they're pregnant at sixteen. The kids down the street getting caught with the drugs. Those Kardashian's getting a television show (actually I'm not sure how they became "famous"), nevermind them. I suppose in the end, I don't envision my sister as different, because Kaley never has. She's the same as everyone else. Yes, she has disabilities, but who doesn't? Everyone has something that keeps them different from the next person, the difference is, Kaley doesn't care. I've always considered her the smarter out of the two of us, and I think this is just another way she's proven it. Kaley loves with her whole heart. She loves music, she loves laughing, hanging out with the people who love her. She likes to go out to eat, see a movie, go shopping. She loves riding her bike, she loves dancing. I think all of us can feel that and know how those things feel. We all want to be happy and content, the deal with Kaley (and again, maybe it's having Down syndrome that's blessed her with this) is that she is.




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