I had a difficult time deciding if I wanted to participate in 31 for 21. For those who don't know, 31 for 21 is a commitment to blog every day for the month of October to celebrate DS awareness month. I struggled with this because of the notion of celebrating DS. This tiny extra little chromosome has transformed all of our lives. It impacts all aspects of Phoenix's development and will be, in all likelyhood, the cause of her eventual diagnosis of an intellectual disability. It means we will see more doctors, consult with more specialists and be a part of a team of educators which will try to prepare Phoenix for an independent life. For all of these reasons, and so many, many more, I cannot bring myself to celebrate Down syndrome. I can't. I won't.
But I will celebrate Phoenix. There is so, so much to celebrate! I'm going to move into proud momma mode right now and list some of Phoenix's accomplishments. This summer we spent a lot of time at grandma's house with very few toys and an iPad. This is what Phoenix learned:
Her colours, shapes, and vowels. We started on the rest of the alphabet which she now knows. She also can read about 10 sight words. She can identify hundreds of objects, animals, toys etc by choosing the correct picture on the screen. She knows at least 100 signs in ASL. She can say more words than I can count, and is attempting more daily. And she is a joyful, affectionate child who is such a pleasure to be around.
So tonight I am celebrating my Phoenix, who has Down syndrome.