Four years into being Avery’s mom, and I find myself saying the very same words I did when our doctor first told us that Avery had Down syndrome: But, what does it mean?
I know about trisomies and increased risks of medical complications; I know about early intervention and developmental delays. I know about physcial characteristics and common traits; I know about inclusion and IDEA and my rights as a parent. I know all these things, and yet, I still don’t know what Down syndrome means.
I’ve learned that no two families are alike, and that no two children are alike, either. I’ve learned the diagnosis means different things to different people, and that even within myself, it has had different meanings at different times.
And I’ve learned this: it means whatever you want it to mean. For me, it means Avery, a little person I love very much.