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Envisioning a Bright Future for People With Down Syndrome

When I received a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis for my unborn son, it was one of the hardest days of my life. My world halted that day. My hopes and dreams for my son froze. I was frozen by fear and uncertainty.

But today, six years later, I am not grieving that day but celebrating it. Not only did my world not freeze, but it activated a whole new part of my life. That day launched me into the beautiful world of knowing and loving people with Down syndrome.

My son is a life worth living and celebrating. He has value and purpose, many strengths and talents, and he is capable of so much more than what any diagnosis says. Every day our family and friends experience a beautiful soul that inspires and motivates us all.

We do not feel sorry for him or settle for a life less full. We dream big for him and have conversations about a thriving future just like we do for our other kids. We love that he has Down syndrome, but it does not define him.

As we move into the future, I long for more hopeful, positive diagnosis deliveries from doctors and nurses; more planning of futures with high expectations and purpose by parents; more inclusion in schools and more employers offering competitive employment to people with Down syndrome. We need to look beyond the Down syndrome diagnosis so that hopes and dreams become a reality in an inclusive society.

There is no doubt the world is a better place with people with Down syndrome in it. My dream is that we all come together to make the world a better place for them to thrive in so they can live with purpose well beyond their diagnosis.