I love speaking to children about Down Syndrome, especially my son’s classroom. The children are genuinely interested in learning about it. Which means they want to learn about my son, their peer.
After I introduce myself to the class, I then bring my son up to share with his class that he has Down Syndrome. I want him to feel secure with himself and acknowledge his syndrome.
I take the opportunity every October to speak to my son’s class about Down Syndrome, as October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. A time to bring awareness about the syndrome and about the individuals who are diagnosed with it.
I talk to them about what Down Syndrome is, who founded it and what are some of the characteristics of Down Syndrome.
I talk to them about why Jacob needs to do a lot of therapy, and that’s why he may need to leave the classroom more often.
I did an activity with them using M&M’s to show them that even though they look different on the outside, on the inside look the same. Meaning they want and do similar things. For example:
They have different colored eyes and hair, some of them are tall (hence the different colors of the candy shell).
Then they looked at what was the same. It was interesting to hear what they saw.
- All have M’s on them
- They all have chocolate in the middle
- They are all candy
Then I handed out this worksheet “Despite Our Differences!”
The intent was to choose a friend and talk about what makes them different and the same.
Then I asked a few of them to come up in front of the class and share their findings.
My son chose his friend Zoe, he wrote what made them different is she is a girl, he is a boy. She has long hair, he has short. But what he found out is that both like some of the same things. They both liked horses and sports, and he shared that with the class.
He did get some assistance from his aide.
Overall the presentation was a success. He enjoyed me coming in to speak and talk about him.
Some of the comments from the teacher and parent:
One parent in particular was in touch to express her gratitude for you time. She shared that her son was touched by the information that you shared with our class about Jacob. ~ Parent
Thank you so much for sharing with us! I think it really helped all of the kids to understand just a bit better. I truly appreciate it. ~ Teacher
If you are interested in me speaking to your class, mom groups or community/civic organization, please fill out the form located on my speaking page. Or you may reach out to me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the specific event information and budget.