Why We Celebrate Down Syndrome Month

Down Syndrome Awareness

October was first designated as Down Syndrome Awareness Month in the 1980s and has been recognized every October since. It is a time to celebrate people with Down syndrome and make others aware of their abilities and accomplishments.

People with Down syndrome are just like everyone else. They have similar dreams and goals, and they want to have successful careers and families. They can drive, go to work, go to college, go on dates, get married, and contribute to society.

They can also participate in sports. When Eunice Kennedy Shriver proposed the first Special Olympics, she was told harmful myths about people with Down syndrome, such as they had “negative buoyancy” and would sink in the water. Shriver included swimming in the first games in 1968 to change people’s attitudes.

Since then, athletes with Down syndrome have exceeded in all types of sports, from swimming and gymnastics to basketball and athletics. In recent years, they’ve taken on endurance events, including the triathlon and open water swimming.

submitted by David Ash