Keep calm, it's only an extra chromosome!
The World Health Organisation reports that Down Syndrome affects about 1 in 1000 babies worldwide, making it one of the most prevalent genetic conditions. Since 2012, nations have been invited to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year.
In celebrating the 9th year of this special day, the theme for 2020 is "We Decide", which encourages everyone with Down Syndrome to practise making independent decisions with regards to matters relating to and/or affecting their lives. At AHT, we promote this practice to all our students. We remind them that their actions, both good and bad, have consequences.
Enrolled in our Home School Hub, we have two loveable boys with Down Syndrome. It would be an understatement to simply say that they are fun to work with. They certainly are a joy to have in the class.
Our first honourable mention is Lucas. From day one, Lucas has never shied away from his peers. Despite his lack of verbal communicative skills, he plays well with others. Although enrolling in our Home School Hub meant a significant change in his routine, Lucas was quick to adjust to being in school, having more peers around him and doing work. A common task that many children despise is writing. What surprised me was when asked to start work, Lucas silently complied, walked over to the table, took his seat, grabbed his writing book and started writing, WITHOUT instructions to do so. This trait of Lucas is one that I admire and appreciate. He rarely resists doing work (dare I say close to never!) He may not seem to love writing but he tries his best...and always with a smile! Kudos to you, Lucas!
Our second honourable mention is Alex, one of the latest additions to our Home School Hub. Alex is Polish, and spoke very little English when he joined us. He loves to recite stories in Polish and always leaves us curious and wishing we understood more. Just a few weeks in and now Alex is more comfortable with the English language. Despite that, his favourite word is still “dada” which is how he lovingly refers to his father. He always greets him with such joy! What touches my heart most about Alex is his energy and cheerfulness as he greets us in the morning. Big warm smiles and happy greetings always make my mornings!
So what do these two have in common?
MUSIC & DANCING!
Lucas and Alex are not only able to bond and interact with each other (despite the language barrier), they both love dancing! Seeing them dance is a sight to behold. Why? Because they love doing it, and they are not shy doing it. They remind us to be comfortable with ourselves and do what we love! Needless to say, I have enjoyed being a teacher for these two special boys and look forward to being part of their journey ahead!