One day when we were in the compound shared by two schools, (one was a school for special needs children), Li-Ann interrupted my conversation with a few moms and said, ‘That girl has Down syndrome.’ Out of curiosity, I turned my head toward the girl LA pointed at, only to see her back. From what I gathered, LA could be right. Subsequently, I saw other children with special needs, including my friend’s son and her husband.
I was amazed at what LA said. It had shown her keen observation skills and wonderful cognitive abilities. She said the same thing when we had a picnic with a few families with Down syndrome children. We told her that she had concluded rightly. At least, I knew that I had not heard her wrongly in the first instance.
As a mom, I asked myself what I had said in her presence to elicit such a remark – such introspection was common ever since I became a mom – I often pray to be a good role model, with God’s help. I don’t recall myself pointing out typical or special needs persons to my children every time, although sometimes it was to confirm my children’s suggestions of certain situation we saw. Frequently, I remind the children that regardless of race, language, religion or abilities, we are to love and accept those around us as God had made them and He loves them too.
Perhaps LA is now more aware of people around her – how they speak and behave, as she has shared her observations with me many times. It can be challenging to respond to her sometimes. Often, I buy time by asking her the 4Ws and 1H questions (half hoping she’ll have the answers, especially if they are obvious), while I quietly but quickly SOS my Heavenly Father for an answer that will be easy for her to understand and at the same time, glorify Him.
I’m praying for a right time to tell LA about herself. I want her to know that although she has Down syndrome, we love her and God loves her and that God will help her rise above her genetic condition to live her life abundantly and with joy.
I thank God for the Hope I have. While Li-Ann may not be typical, she is special to God and us, dearly loved by all (even those whom she has only met briefly – maybe she has the X factor!!) and that God will enable her to glorify Him in His own Time and Way.