Newsflash: People with Down syndrome don’t ‘Suffer’ from Down syndrome

If I could get a dollar for every time someone says, "She suffers from Down syndrome", I would never need to work again!

The fact is in most cases of Down syndrome, it is just an extra chromosome, 21 in every cell. Just like we don't 'suffer' from our 46 chromosomes per cell, people with Down syndrome don't 'suffer' from their 47 chromosomes per cell.

Now don't get me wrong, there are people with Down syndrome who do suffer. They suffer from things like heart conditions, sore feet, colds and respiratory issues, falling over and from many other things that give them pain and suffering BUT Down syndrome on its own is not one of those things. Some people who have Down syndrome are more susceptible to illness and issues that make them suffer BUT NOT the Down syndrome itself!

It may seem like a little thing, but when I hear people say this, I cringe inside. The inference is they are not comfortable or must be suffering because they are not what is considered 'quite right'. Who are we to decide who and what is 'quite right' and what is not? Miss Chloe is very proud of who she is and just sees having Down syndrome the same as having blue eyes. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from her and see people as people and only mention the word 'suffer' when people are ill or in pain.

So please ensure you are not making my girl and others who have Down syndrome suffer because of your negative perception of them. The next time you go to refer to a person with Down syndrome, try just saying:'They have Down Syndrome' it isn't that hard.
As a side note, there are many times I suffer from Miss Chloe BUT NEVER from her Down syndrome - usually from her bad attitude (way too much like her mum, LOL)!

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