Margaret, a mother from Kenya
I am a mother of a 21-year-old son with Down syndrome.
Being in the teaching profession has exposed me to the details of Down syndrome and how to handle the situation.
Unfortunately, I have encountered misery with regard to policy and practice with regard to children with Down syndrome.
In 2022, I wish to begin an awareness campaign on the inclusion of children with Down syndrome, bringing together the young people in my village and offering sensitization of parents and caretakers of such children.
When my son was born I hardly understood the health conditions of my son and no one offered counsel.
I made errors in feeding, care and immunization that almost cost his life.
When I took him to school, acceptability and inclusion challenges saw him transferred from one school to another (four schools and a special centre) but all efforts failed.
Frustrated, I engaged in a lonesome battle for him.
The internet, following up with health implications and socio-economic well-being.
By age 18 he was showing signs of depression. His speech had improved, he claimed he wanted a job, to work in an office like his brother.
I am lost for once. What next?
I am like this, what of those children whose parents don’t access the facilities and knowledge I often access?
I see them all over, hanging about the markets, some begging for coins for a piece of roast maize. Others I hear are locked up in houses if mum goes to the farm.
I meet some people with Down syndrome on my way to work looking forlorn.
I’ll start with a kilometre but I know I can get to miles for both my son and others.
The best way to promote awareness of Down syndrome is for people with Down syndrome to share their own stories in their own words.
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