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"The down syndrome boy/girl/man/woman".

"The down syndrome boy/girl/man/woman".

Boy who has Down Syndrome
These are all ways you will hear someone with down syndrome referred to on a regular basis and something I would have said myself!
What's wrong with this, you might wonder? My son's name is Odhran and he has down syndrome, he is not down syndrome, he is first and foremost a person!
 
We did not understand down syndrome when my son was born, but we do now and at the moment it is our job to advocate for him and teach people acceptance and inclusion He is the person he is meant to be, and has taught us so much more then we will ever teach him.His ability to overcome has brought untold joy to everyone he's met already in his little 17 months and will continue to do so!His extra chromosomes doesn't define him, it's part of the amazing little person he is, and that can only be celebrated! So let's start by referring to him as that amazing person first and not a syndrome!These terms I have referred to are outdated, and we as society have moved on a lot in 50/60 years in all aspects so why continue using these terms to describe valuable people in our society!

I know when I correct people on this they look at me like I'm mad, or think I'm just an over sensitive mother! I probably would have thought the same! But referring to someone like this makes them seem like they are less, or  something other than a person first! My son is an extremely capable little boy , but he has down syndrome, it is part of every single cell in his body and effects him cognitively and effects his fine and gross motor skills, it also gives him features that other people with down syndrome have, but does that make him or them something other than a person first?
 
Please think of the person first before referring to them as "down syndrome people"
They are people, like you or I, except they have an extra chromosome! They have enough challenges in life other than our ignorance as society, so let's make that a little less and educate ourselves to use person first language!
 
Let's all do our best to educate ourselves a little x
 
Thanks so much to one of our mum reader's Trish Yeates for sending this into us.
It's a very personal piece for Trish, as it's so important to her that Odhran is seen as a person first and that people don't just see down syndrome! 
Odhran is the youngest of three. His family all adore him and he has amazed them with how hard he works to achieve and meet his milestones! Here is a picture of him with his mum Trish when he was 18 months old.