For World Down Syndrome Day - Not Special Needs, Just Human Needs.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Have you seen this short film that has been viewed 5,368,555 times on Facebook (data was taken on 21 Mar 2017 at 10:02 am my timezone)? The hilarious cover of a cat on a man's back with the words "A cat massage?" caught my attention after a few friends tagged me on Facebook. Watch it if you have not.

It is one of the best short films I've seen lately - humorous, yet brings across a much-needed message by people with Down syndrome. "Not Special Needs" is an international campaign initiated by CoorDown - National Coordination of Associations of People with Down syndrome for the World Down Syndrome Day and I think they nailed the message.

What special needs does someone with Down syndrome really have?

Looking at K who will turn 6 years old this year, I sometimes forget that she has a disability. She has needs just like Ch and L, and every other child I have hugged and kissed and loved. She needs to eat, drink, rest and breathe. She needs to love and be loved, to communicate, to move, to be educated and to have a safe place called home.

Of course, if you ask her about her needs, she'll probably tell you she needs to watch TV and play "cooking". Every day.

Sure, she does require extra assistance from time to time - like a feeding tube when she could not swallow her food safely and wasn't eating enough to sustain her growth - or an oxygen concentrator to provide sufficient oxygen for her to live when her lungs were healing from the three pneumonia infections - or even the numerous therapies to help her learn better and grow in the cognition, physical, social and emotional aspects.

Aren't these merely different ways of meeting her fundamental human needs?
It is time to recognise people with disabilities, including Down syndrome, as equal siblings in our family of human diversity - as people with the same rights and same fundamental human needs as everyone else, even if they may require extra assistance or a different way of meeting a particular human need. -
If we can see the needs of people with disabilities as just human needs, we will be able to see beyond the condescending labels that have been freely slapped onto them by the society.

If we can see their needs as just human needs, many babies who are born with disabilities will not be abandoned in the hospitals - unclaimed and unloved.

If we can see their needs as just human needs, we will be able to see people with disabilities as just, people.

Not special needs. Just human needs.

As people with the same rights and access to all that we enjoy too.

*March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. A day where people with Down syndrome and friends who care about them come together as one voice to raise awareness of Down syndrome.

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  1. I have never seen this before and LOVED it! Your little girl is adorable. I have a daughter who turned 5 in April; she has T21. Love reading all your posts I've had a chance to so far. Especially enjoying the 5 tips of photo walks; my Dianna is quite fond of taking pictures and I hope she may be a photographer one day.

    1. Hi Sheila,
      Happy to e-meet you here! You have a beautiful blog! I'll love to hang around your site more (:
      And thank you for listing my blog on yours!


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