‘Poor thing.’ It’s not something to avoid or pull your children away from at the playground. It’s pure, unfiltered joy.’: Special needs mom advocates for Down Syndrome acceptance

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“To anyone who will listen,

Down Syndrome is not ‘I’m sorry.’
It’s not ‘poor thing.’
It’s not something to avoid or pull your children away from at the playground.
It’s not scary or weird.

Two sisters wearing matching shirts with matching braids smile for a photo together
Courtesy of Nao Hatamochi

Down Syndrome is JOY.
It’s pure, unfiltered, throw your head back and laugh happiness.
It’s giving zero F–KS, wearing what makes you happy, and being proud of how you look.
It’s saying hi to literally everyone you walk by with the biggest smile on your face.
It’s loving people for exactly who they are and showing everyone kindness without expecting anything in return.

Little girl with Down Syndrome smiles big while swinging at the park in a pink ruffled dress with rainbows and hearts on it
Courtesy of Nao Hatamochi

Down Syndrome is hard work.
It’s tears and anger and frustration.
It’s a lot of practice and effort for so many things that most people probably take for granted.
But it’s also tenacity, and determination, and perseverance.
And it’s immense pride and joy and a whole lotta celebration at each milestone.

Little girl with Down Syndrome looks serious while showing off her determination and muscles to ride a scooter with a helmet and pads
Courtesy of Nao Hatamochi

Down Syndrome is also community.
It’s friends you meet for the first time and feel an instant closeness to.
It’s friendships that turn into something more, that you want to hold onto for a lifetime.
It’s a group of people who understand and accept you with little words.

I might be ‘slightly’ biased, but it sounds pretty awesome, ya?”

Girl mom of two takes a mirror selfie with her daughter with Down Syndrome
Courtesy of Nao Hatamochi
Little girl with Down Syndrome makes a wish while blowing on a dandelion in a pink shirt with a matching pink hat
Courtesy of Nao Hatamochi

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nao Hatamochi of Toronto, Canada. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribeto our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more about Down Syndrome here:

‘This is all my fault. I did this to her.’ For months, I felt worthless.’: Mom embraces daughter’s Down Syndrome diagnosis, urges ‘see the positives’

‘Hold her and look at her.’ The daughter I thought we’d have died, but my heart melted.’: Mom says daughter with Down Syndrome is a ‘blessing’

‘Stop Googling. Enjoy that little baby in front of you, exactly where they are at. Because this little person will astound you.’: Mom to child with Down syndrome shares 12 touching reminders

‘I could barely get the words out. ‘Mom, what does this mean?’ In one moment, my life changed.’: Woman births baby with Down syndrome

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