Having a child with Down Syndrome brings both light and darkness into your day.Light because now there is this amazing little creature full of love and curiosity and a sense of fun and adventure.Darkness because now the future for this child, which you probably had mapped out in your head while pregnant, even though you might never admit it, is uncertain.
As a parent, with a desire to become a better human being, you always try to seek out the light; to banish the shade. Throwing pity parties for yourself helps no one, especially not your beautiful child, who asks so little and gives so much in return. But, as a human being, it’s hard to remain upbeat and sunny all the time. You seek encouragement and support from family and friends and sometimes you find inspiration from a stranger, which renews your hope for a brighter future.
Paul Daugherty is an award winning journalist whose 19 year old daughter has Down Syndrome. This is the keynote speech he gave at a symposium for remarkable families at a U.S. university in 2009.