Dear World Down Syndrome Day Committee,
Last year was the first year that March 21st was officially recognized as World Down syndrome Day. March 21st. 3/21, 3 copies of the 21st chromosome: Down syndrome. How clever! I loved that. It made me glow with satisfaction.
I wish I could say I feel the same way about the theme you are implementing this year, “Odd Socks.” As I understand it, we are supposed to wear different socks on each foot, which will get people talking and stuff. You say on your site,
“Remember, socks may be different, but they are all socks, and they can be worn together if people accept and welcome the difference!”
I have some questions about all of this:
- What if you live in a warm place and are not even wearing socks?
- Heck, even if you are in a cold place, who is going to look down and start noticing your socks? Which will most likely be covered by your shoes/boots/pants?
- Who cares if you wear mismatched socks?
and the most glaring question of all,
WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU USING THE WORD “ODD” IN A CAMPAIGN RELATED TO DOWN SYNDROME?
I’d say that Down syndrome (as a disability) has had more than it’s share of prejudice; any campaign using the word “odd” as a part of an awareness/celebration endeavor might be a campaign that needs to wake up and take a long swig of coffee.
In my opinion, March 21st doesn’t even need a theme.
It doesn’t need to be anything other than World Down syndrome Day. That’s celebration enough, that the international Down syndrome community has a date that is meaningful and is shared with Spring Equinox and Naw Ruz. A date that is recognized by the United Nations and will hopefully be recognized by governments world wide. World Down syndrome Day is in and of itself a celebration of our community, the power of our community to affect change, and most importantly, a celebration of the presence of those who have trisomy of the 21st chromosome. A celebration of their lives and the bright diversity they bring with them to our world.
Let’s do that. Let’s celebrate.
And leave the socks out of it. We don’t need them.
I, for one, am pretty sure my girl will be barefoot
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Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.