I may have missed Down Syndrome Awareness Day... but I didn't miss this lesson.

Earlier this week, the world celebrated Down Syndrome Awareness Day.





Because I have written on the topic before, I hadn’t planned to post about it this year. That was until my wife showed me the Carpool Karaoke video below. Actually, it is more accurate to say my wife texted the video to me while I was at work with the caption, “Do you need a good cry?”

My wife knows me extremely well. She knows that it doesn’t take much to reduce me to a blubbering mess. Because I was at work and didn’t want to get snot all over my desk, I figured it was wise to respond, “Not right now. I better wait until I get home.”

Later that evening, I remembered I had not watched the video. I gathered my box of tissues and sat down to watch it.





It was incredibly beautiful and inspirational. The creators picked the perfect song for the occasion: Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”.

“Darling don’t be afraid
I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more”

If that isn't the perfect song to express the unconditional love these moms have for their beautiful children, I don't know what is.

Although I was incredibly moved and a bit teary eyed, the video made me smile ear to ear… but no real tears.

I had made it. I had experienced 50 of the most beautiful expressions of unconditional love I have ever seen and did not end up a mess.

Without the nuisance of being blinded by tears, I was able to take look at Youtube’s menu of suggested videos.

Hmmm? What’s this? "Maddie Zahm Brings Best Friend in for Her American Idol Audition - American Idol 2018 on ABC"?





I clicked it.

By the time Marcus got to the “Boom, Boom, Boom” of Firework, I was glad I had brought the tissues.

The video is beautiful. So is Maddie Zahm's and her friend Marcus' story. But that is not why I am writing this. Although I have a huge soft spot for the message contained in Katy Perry’s Firework, something more important happened in this clip.

If you fast forward to the 2:55 mark you will see and hear an excellent example of how to talk to a person who happens to have Down Syndrome.

Although that may seem like something that doesn’t require a role model, for many people, talking to someone with Down Syndrome is a new experience. New experiences can make people nervous and uncomfortable. Perhaps seeing someone else navigate the situation can help when they have a similar opportunity.

Pay attention to how the judges interact with Marcus. All off them are trying their best to be respectful, kind and inclusive. Heck, that alone scores them a ton of points in my book. But one voice stood out. Pay special attention to Katy Perry’s interaction with Marcus.





How do you talk to a person with Down Syndrome? You talk to them like a person. That is exactly what Katy Perry did.

I had to rewind the video to make sure I was hearing it correctly.

If you pay close attention, while Marcus is walking into the room, you can hear a voice say “Hey dude”. This voice stood out in comparison to the slow and falsetto voices of the two men. Believe me, I get what Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan were trying to do. I happen to be a man with a deep voice. Sometimes I try to heighten and soften it in order to avoid scaring a kid. But it is so unnatural. Perry’s voice was the exact opposite. She used the same tone and language she would use with any 20 year old she just met.

She continues this natural conversation when Marcus joins the judges at the table. She asks him appropriate questions for his age and environment and gave him enough time to process the questions and provide answers. She never talked “down” or “at” Marcus. She talked with him.

I’m not saying Katy Perry is the perfect role model in every case. She is a human being. Some things she does like performing Firework with a young singer who happens to be on the Autism spectrum, serving as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and standing up for people’s rights are awesome. Some other things she does are not. Role models don’t have to be perfect in order to teach a valuable lesson. Last week Katy Perry did.

If you'd like some more tips on how to work with people with Down Syndrome, I found this handy flier created by The Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City.



Screen Shot 2018-03-24 at 10.06.50 AM.png
PDF available here.

Ultimately, if you are wondering how to treat a person with a disability, it's actually pretty simple...

Just treat them like a person.



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Man this is one inspiring post. I love that some people care about other people with all their self. I think we should treat all of the people equally irrespective of their physical appearance and mental stability.
I love the video and the song absolutely suits the subject. A thousand years by Christina Perry is one of my favorite songs too, she says it all in this video. Man I appreciate your efforts to make people understand what it means to not to be a hundred percent. My respect to all the mom's whose children are not well and my love to all those children. Cheers

Indeed... as I mentioned in the comment I made I have a close relative with Down Syndrome, and though he is amazing I got to give it to his mother who takes care of him like a boss.

Down Syndrome people need a strong and tight family, and kudos to those who provide.

The two videos were heartwarming and touching. We love the Christina Perri song and listen to it often when we are having our "music" nights but to see it used for that video was so nice. I loved seeing the kids participating. One of my close friends here has a son with Down Syndrome. We used to spend a lot of time together when the kids were younger and would go to the cottage together. I remember seeing how people would react to this young man in situations. It was as you describe it from the video with Katy Perry. People will speak to people with Down's as if they are a child. I learned through that relationship to speak to him the same as any of the other kids. In my first year of teaching, I was a grade 1 teacher. It was the scariest year of my life but that's another story. In our school, we had a developmentally delayed class with 8 students in it. The teacher was looking for classrooms where he could integrate some of her students. Being a new teacher I jumped on the opportunity and I am so glad I did. It was such a rewarding experience to work with these young people who were so happy and willing to work hard. Any teacher who has the opportunity to do the same thing should take it for sure. You won't regret it.

You are a class act my friend! Way to role model for the veteran teacher sin your school. Bet you do that for the new ones now.

A teacher's role is just that, you represented perfectly what we need from our teaching class. Truly well done... here's an upvote fragment :D

That 1000 years song always gets me because of the unconditional love thing. Unconditional love is just one of the most beautiful things on earth.

I love the last line that you wrote! It's soo true, and I always try to do that, like when I had some disabled students back when I was a teacher. Because everyone is the same on the inside...we're all just souls trapped inside whatever body we're given, but we all need and want the same things, which is just love and respect and to be understood and appreciated!

Thanks for sharing such an important reminder with us!

"but we all need and want the same things, which is just love and respect and to be understood and appreciated!"

Well said!

Yeap, pretty much... the only difference I would say is that they are less equipped to deal with the world ALONE, but other than that what they need is what we need.

Plus, sure they aren't able to do some things, but they are able to love and appreciate the simple stuff on a level we can never reach.

I've never met a person with Down's syndrome before.

Just treat them like a person

But I think this is the best advice there is

It's like - hey man, if you're googling "How to treat people with Down Syndrome" you're not as good as you think :P

Haha..
True that

Beautiful and very touching. My college roommate had a downs syndrome child and she said that he was the most loving of her children.

In December 2011, the General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149). The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year.
Any child born with Down syndrome is a precious gift to be loved and cherished. They give back so much love joy laughter tears of course but all unconditIonally. Each and everyone is an angel sent to enrich, teach and bless the families. Love to all.
So, every year we should celebrate this great day and stand beside with them.

Any child born at all is a precious gift.

Hey man.

This is spot on... I have a cousin with Down Syndrome about my age... he's 31 I think... he may not be like many people in most areas, but talk about football and he'll show you what's up. Never saw a guy more oppinionated and knowledgeable about a sport.

We grew up at the same time, being the same age, and I can tell you that people are now much MORE educated than say 20 years ago when we were 10.

They would always treat him differently... now they're doing mostly as you say. And when it comes to football, the area he loves and so has a developed intelligence on it that tramples most people, they value his expertise.

Bottom line, I know Down Syndrome people can be and in many cases are able to contribute to society. He works and carries his own weight, even though his work is "simple", plus everyone sees that and, unlike 10-20 years ago value him and talk normally to him.

At least in my country I can clearly see we're going on the right direction, and that's a good thing to see.

That is awesome! I love hearing perspectives that know first hand that we are making progress.

A beautiful video and useful tips!!.
It reminded me of 50 years ago and attending a youth club where a young man with Downs Syndrome also went. This was in the days where people were very often ignorant about those with special needs and they could be treated badly. However this young man always had a hugh smile and a big hug for everyone, ( in a time when we weren't that tactile)and we all adored him, and learnt from him. What an ambassador for people with Downs Syndrome!!

That is fantastic that you had the wisdom to learn form this young man.

Always treat everyone with kindness because you don't know what kind of battle they are going through.

That is a great post, I think people really need to learn how to behave themselves in such situation. In schools in UK, such children are studying together with others, such called "Inclusion project" but the teachers pay attention that they have more attention. It is good for other children to learn the others from the young ages, they support each other and make friends, only then society will know how to behave themselves and not over do in order to be polite :)

Very true. The younger people learn the better.

I also wrote about this World down syndromw awarnese few day ago. I told about Cut mad, a down syndrome survivor with his creativity. Unfortunately, he is from poor family with poor educational background too. Because of that he grows up without any formal education

I periodically work with kids that have Downs at the local high school. They are such amazing kids...full of wonder, refreshingly genuine (in a world that is increasingly cynical and cruel) and enjoyable to spend time with. We get so caught up the bullshit of our workaday lives and forget that there are people out there that have bigger challenges to overcome, challenges that they cannot escape from. Big hugs and high fives!

This one is a great post, I have a cousin with down syndrome and we treat him like normal, though our love from him is special but our treatment for him was just as the same as to others cause wwe want him to feel that differences doesn't makes us different from other person...😘😊❤️

Pelajaran yang sangat berharga, bisa menginspirasi semua orang.
Semoga anda sukses selalu @hanshorfirst
Saya akan resteem resteem postingan ini silahkan cek blog saya. https://steemit.com/science/@fahmiy/pemandangan-jembatan-f6758bdb2b626

Love is a beautiful thing n by expressing it to our loved ones, we tends to heal some pains in them

It is a good thing to show love to people around us. Keep the good work. It's well

Hmmn
I'm humanity demands showing love. I love this
Well-done

Nice photos. they deserve an award. It is very nice. great workDQmQDDaCHdB1w2s8ACkPZtWNkvFaRiMWtGwgb11sFsHxBSd.jpeg

I love reading your post, I have learned a lot from here and you have presented your favorite topics which are really very nice.

Amazing educative and informative content my dear..friend @hanshotfirst..! I enjoyedyour content. Keep up the good work! It's always nice to see good content here on Steemit..

Good post @hanshotfirst. I missed watching American Idol because of your photo ^_^. Keep it up!

Nice post, yeah that was a syndrome look like. Thank you for sharing. That was useful. I'll follow you, please follow me back :)

You can't just unleash at me all that feelings out of nowhere :d
Damn, where is my tissue.

@surpassinggoogle sir thanks for resteem this post. That's why i see this educational post. thanks.

Really feel nice to see your post. In the picture, he is coming to audition the song! I hope he got the opportunity to participate in this computation.

Congratulations @hanshotfirst, this post is the eighth most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Superhero or Legend account holder (accounts hold greater than 100 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Superhero and Legend account holders during this period was 53 and the total pending payments to posts in these categories was $2221.29. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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They are so beautiful. One of my very good friends, a three year old boy has down syndrome. And he's so smart you can't help but wonder at what might have been, then you're just supergrateful to witness his cuteness.

wow very nice post

What a touching and inspiring post! Katty Perry just treated him as if he were normal person like anyone else. She did it great!

This is probably the most sense of writing a blog , a blog that inspired everyone . A blog that have it's own purposes. Thank @hanshotfirst for sharing it to us

Love the sharing.. i wanted to say the lyrics of 'One Thousand Years' really make me cries, when I first watch the Carpool Karaoke. Bless u!

Really if a beautiful lesson, it shows that people with sindome de down can become very intelligent and develop in any environment only that they have their own pace is to give them the time to reason and analyze situations, thanks to share.

By dint of we can increase our skill that is beneficial for all steemians.
I will always visit your site & wait for your upcoming post.
Thanks .

Before i heard about the Down Syndrome but literally never searched about it but today after watching your post i searched for the meaning and got the answer as mental disorder and genetical issue, and you shared the great inputs at last means they need their presence among everyone because they don't need an behaviour which let them feel as they are lacking something in turn behave with them as normal as possible and yes they are nothing different than us and we have to include everyone because that will boost them and in turn it will encourage them to do good things in life. Thanks for sharing and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂

After read this article I too love to support Down Syndrome people

This is so beautiful. I can be a cry baby myself😂, i had to brace myself because I'm in a public place.. Everyone deserves love..

that was really cool thing i saw today glad that you shared it first :D

Que hermoso, hermoso, hermoso el vídeo está en inglés y no lo entendí, pero lo que leí y ví fue suficiente para buscar mis pañuelos y acompañarlo en ese bello desborde de emociones. ¡Que sentimientos tan hermosos!
Gracias por eso.

Great post. Katy Perry is smart to interact with Marcus like he is any other person. We should all take note, Thanks for your post. 🐓🐓

i did wear a mis match socks Today

Love

Awesome!

I should have done a whole post about Lots of Socks earlier in the week.

https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/lots-of-socks

its never too late to start.... we should show our love to them...

because our differences are what makes us Great :)

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