Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Dear Kristina and Sarah

on October 3, 2016

Dear Kristina and Sarah,

Thank you so much for visiting our home, listening to our story, and being part of a project that is open to changing the dialog about disability in the medical community.

(For readers who are “new” to Kristina and Sarah, these two ladies are a part of LEND, the University of Illinois at Chicago’s program for Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities.  They came to our house last weekend to talk with us about how disability has impacted our family.  You can find out more about their project here.)

I’m sure you thought we might be a little crazy.  I’m sorry that my children pretty much force-fed you chips for two hours.  Thank you for patiently listening as Ellie read you 47 Strings.  It’s how she makes sense of Down syndrome right now,  and boy, I’m sure you can tell, she loves to have an audience.

(A reminder that you promised not to write about her offering you wine.  I’m still blushing.)

As I told you that evening, we believe that the type of advocacy that fits our family is telling people about our life – it’s one of the main reasons that I write in an open forum rather than in a personal journal.  I would love to think that we can change minds just by being out and about in the community, but I also know that almost three years ago, when I was sitting in my hospital room alone while my new baby slept down in the NICU, I craved information.  I needed to know what life would be like.  And I found that information by reading the stories that people had shared online.

We are so grateful to know that future medical professionals are willing to listen, learn, and be influenced by the voices of the self-advocates that meet with your group.  I appreciate that you listened to our story, and that you will have the opportunity to hear from so many others who walk parallel paths.  Certainly our story is not the single story that speaks for all those with disability.  But thank you for taking in our perspective, and for already making a difference in the lives of families, just by LENDing an ear.

Maggie

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This is part of the 31 for 21 Blog Challenge – blogging every day for the the 31 days of Down Syndrome Awareness month.  To find out more about the challenge, and to see other blogs participating, click here.

This year’s theme has been inspired by the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network’s #deardoctor campaign.  To see more #deardoctor letters, visit their Facebook page here.

 

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