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Parent’s Corner: Speaking to Your Child’s Classmates About Down Syndrome

Editor’s Note:  World Down Syndrome Day is March 21st.

My daughter Sophie is almost fourteen. She has Down syndrome. She’s in eighth grade and has been mainstreamed since her earliest preschool days.

A few weeks ago, she invited me to speak at Career Day at her middle school. She wanted me to talk about the book I wrote about her. Turns out, what Sophie really wanted was for me to explain Down syndrome to the other kids at her school.

I was floored. And I felt terrible.

Since Sophie was born, her father and I have been so focused on getting her what she needs — government services, therapies, heart surgery, more heart surgery, the right teachers, the right IEPs, spots on the cheerleading team and in drama class — that it had never occurred to me that her peers had needs, too.

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