“My 7-year-old daughter has Down Syndrome. Many complications arose during pregnancy which led to an operation. It was then that the doctors found out she had down syndrome. Children like her are usually slow at learning compared to other kids their age. We enrolled her in the Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) for a year before sending her to school. We are trying to get her acquainted with other kids at school now. We will observe her development alongside kids her age without down syndrome. She needs a lot of care. We couldn’t leave her with a babysitter. Children with Down syndrome don’t understand what’s wrong or right. That’s why they need someone to look after them round the clock. We had to make certain compromises to be there for her. We ran two businesses but had to close one down, and I had to leave my job. But these are small settlements because there were moments after she was born that we were told she might not even survive 2 days. And now she is in class 1.
Parents of special needs children often worry about what society would do to kids like ours. But with the right education and awareness, people could start changing their views. ABS is an organisation that could truly help make this difference. They work with children with disabilities and give them individual attention. It was with them that my daughter learned the alphabets, colours and numbers. Now in school, I stay throughout the day to keep an eye on her and check on her progress. We come across many problems but I and my husband always solve them. All for our daughter. When our daughter learns something new, we feel more joy than possible. Every word from her mouth is a milestone. Our daughter has taught us the value of life. We usually take things for granted but through her, we now know the worth of small wins. It isn’t easy at all, but watching her grow up and learn new things makes it all worth it.”
World Down Syndrome Day, 21 March, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. This year, the theme of the day has been decided as “We CONNECT so that we can” #CONNECT by the United Nations. The idea behind this theme is to demonstrate that it only takes a human being to connect with another and it is the connection between people that helps in the worst situations. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, people and businesses have been terribly affected. But in these trying times what all of us must remember is to take care of those suffering from Down syndrome and also ensure that they are not left alone.

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