Thursday, March 19, 2015

World Down Syndrome Day Prep

As World Down Syndrome Day approached last year, we had just started having conversations with Eli and Maddux about what 'Down syndrome' means....I think it was that week, actually! Both kids wore mismatched socks and we touched lightly on how wearing socks causes conversations about what Down syndrome really is and isn't. Different socks, check. No real conversations, but we had pulled our whole family into this community.

This year is so different. We've had many more conversations since then about more specifics surrounding T21. Eli can even explain the whole chromosome situation to you. A few weeks ago we started talking about World Down Syndrome Day. We put out the 2015 Team Ruby shirt for people to buy and wear, and the kids started talking about their socks. Then Eli said he was going to get his whole class to wear mismatched socks. While this was cool to hear, I wasn't sure if Eli would really follow through. This wasn't anything we wanted to push on the kids, so we let Eli take the lead and he kept with it. We helped him figure out what to say to his class this week (though all we really did was listen because his plan for speaking was spot on), and we talked about the best time to remind kids (the day before).

This afternoon, Eli stood up in front of his class and told them that Saturday (3/21) was World Down Syndrome Day. He said to participate, our family and friends were planning to wear our Team Ruby shirts and mismatched socks. He reminded them that Ruby has Down syndrome and that means she has 3 sets of her 21st chromosome instead of the pair that the rest of us have. He also brought in a picture of Ruby, his Ruby shirt and a pair of mismatched socks to show them as an example of what he was planning to wear. Then he asked them to wear mismatched socks too because what makes you different makes you beautiful. AND he asked them to wear red because that is Ruby's color.
 Low and behold he got off of the bus and told me to pull up his class blog. His teacher always posts the homework on there, so I didn't think anything of it. We did, but as he scanned through it, he said, "It's not there...refresh it." I did and suddenly appeared an extra item of 'homework':

World Down Syndrome Day:   March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day (The 21st chromosome has 3 chromosomes instead of 2, therefore, 3/21  is the date.) Help us support this fabulous cause by wearing red and crazy socks tomorrow! Thank you Eli for sharing your story.
I was so proud! I emailed his teacher and thanked her and then asked if i could come in to take a picture of the class. Eli assures me that everyone is participating!

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