Rare Birds: Children with Down Syndrome

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We’ve been traveling around Maui and Lana’i for the past 10 days, and I have noticed something with regard to Moxie.

I’ve noticed that while there are a few people who look at her with pity or take a step back, the vast majority of people that we interact with seem to be eager to connect with her.

They reach out. They want to touch her hair, know her name. They smile at her, sometimes first with some trepidation but then after a few moments, with full warmth.

I know she’s ridiculously cute, but there are a lot of ridiculously cute kids around. I don’t think that’s it.

moxie nichols rare bird

I think it’s partially her own charisma, her fearless pulling of people into her sphere.

I think it’s partially that she’s a rare bird, this beautiful person from a tribe that is becoming more celebrated.

People are now passing around memes and featuring news of people with Down syndrome – children in particular. So while features of children with Down syndrome, or models, actors, artists, dancers and entrepreneurs with Down syndrome are becoming more common, the tribe itself are becoming more rare.

The reality is that people with Down syndrome are becoming rare birds.

moxie nichols rare bird

I wonder what it’s going to be like for our kids when they grow up and a whole legion of children who have grown up in inclusive classrooms are out there, thinking that Down syndrome is not a big deal.

I wonder too, how many people with Down syndrome there actually will be, what with prenatal testing and abortion rates.

I wonder how rare Moxie will really be, and how it will feel to be a part of her tribe.

sunset on maui
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Meriah Nichols is a career counselor, teacher and blogger. Single mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E), she is also a cat-loving Trekkie who likes her coffee hot and black.
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