It's hard to say how much having a child with Down syndrome has changed me, because she is my first child. I think more than anything, just becoming a mother has changed me. It is hard to separate what I think because I am a mother from what I think because I am a mother to a child with a disability.
But there is one thing I know for certain that has changed due to the fact that I am mother of a child with special needs. Whenever I see an individual with a disability, my first thoughts are always of their mother. It makes no difference whether that individual is an infant, or has grey hair - what I see first is all the love their mother feels for them, all the tears she has cried over the cruel words or actions towards her precious child, and all the joys she has felt over their accomplishments. I feel a connection with their mother - an understanding a similar journey.
What a wonderful thing it would be if all mothers could feel this same way. They would then teach their children to be kinder, to be accepting of differences, to loving to all our brothers and sisters.