Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Down's Syndrome Awareness Week

This week happens to be Down's Syndrome Awareness Week; something which I don't actually need to be aware of as (with the exception of the first 2 years and 10 months after I was born) it's something that's been in my life for almost the previous 30 years.


My brother has Down's Syndrome. He's 28 and still lives at home with my mum and dad. He's hasn't got the sort of Down's where you might be able to stack shelves in a supermarket or live in a supported housing shelter; he's always going to need looking after all his life.

My brother, Nick
 

My first memory is going to to visit him in hospital in Bath just after he was born. I remember my gran and grandad taking me there and buying me sweets on the way in; and I remember seeing my brother in an incubator and asking the nurse "how do they change his nappies?"

 
Growing up, people used to ask me, "don't you wish you had a normal brother?" and I always used to reply that this was normal. I'd never known anything different so to me, that was normality.

My brother, Nick growing up
 

He can be a pain, the same as any sibling can - he's moody and stubborn and uses his own language so often struggles to make himself understood. It helps if you know what he's been up to recently so you can make a good guess at what he's trying to say but the majority of the time, he's funny, lovable, playful and inquisitive.

My brother, Nick
 

I don't really have anything deep and meaningful to say about Down's Syndrome Awareness Week (I'm sure you're all absolutely fine with people with Down's or other learning disabilities) but if you want to get involved in any way, hop on over to the Down's Sydrome Association site to help with this year's campaign - Better health care for adults with Down's Syndrome.


14 comments:

  1. 'Growing up, people used to ask me, "don't you wish you had a normal brother?" and I always used to reply that this was normal. I'd never known anything different so to me, that was normality.' is my favourite line in the entire post. At the butcher I work on the weekends, I have a collegue who has Down's syndrome as well. He's got his own 'manual' so to say, but he's lovely. I don't usually work with him as he only works during week-days, but if he comes by on a saturday, it's always nice to see him. I really don't understand people can't handle people with Down's syndrome, I really don't.

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    1. Thanks Saskia, most Down's people are lovely and sweet people - we used to have a lad who would come into the library (back when I worked there) and we always used to have so much fun chatting to him. :-) xx

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  2. I agree with Saskia, that line is just brilliant. My niece has Downs and she has the most personality that I've ever seen in a 3 year and she's always smiling. Yes, she can be a stubborn little moo at times but she's just so happy. She's a little bit older than my youngest but they play together so nicely and Aurora loves her to bits. No one thinks of Downs when you see her, you just see one extremely happy girl. It's so nice for you to write a post about him. Beautiful! x

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    1. Aww thanks Rhiannon! Your niece sounds like a lovely little girl, Down's children (and adults) are usually so happy and smiley and you can have great fun playing with them! :-) x

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  3. I agree--great line! Your brother sounds like an absolute darling, Louisa!

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    1. Thanks Angela! He certainly can be a darling (and sometimes, he's a right nuisance!) :-) xx

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    2. I think all brothers are exactly the same in that regard ;)

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    3. Haha, I think you're completely right there! :-) xx

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  4. A beautiful post and so lovely to read about the sibling's perspective. My girls are so very close, well, apart from the odd squabble. Much love from us all at Downs Side Up H x

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    1. Aww thanks Hayley! Best wishes to your little family as well :-) xx

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  5. I thought this post was lovely, the way you describe your brother and your childhood memories is beautiful. I particularly love the line where you say this is your normality. Thanks for sharing such a personal post and raising awareness :)
    Love Kate xx

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    1. Aww thanks Kate! Glad you like it :-) x

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  6. I agree with all of the above. Everyone is different anyway, and the normality is what each person has experienced. Your brother sounds lovely; I particularly like the photo of the two of you sitting on giant seals! xxx

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    1. Ha, yep that was at Oban Sea Life Centre in Scotland - my brother used to absolutely love fish and sea creatures so most school holidays involves some kind of aqaurium! :-) xxx

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Thank you very much for all your lovely comments; I do have every intention of replying but sometimes life with a baby gets in the way...

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