Heidi is a hugely inspirational young woman who speaks out on behalf of people with Down's Syndrome. Read her story... she has a lot to teach us all.
I am twenty one years old and I have Down's Syndrome which is an extra chromosome. I find that some people are very negative towards people with Down's because they don't understand it. They think we are not equal. The things people say make me cry because people don't value us like they should.
Some say people with Down's Syndrome can't have relationships but they can have friendships and relationships just like anyone else. I have lots of friends who care for me in everything. I have a better social life than my mum and am always going out with my friends. Another misconception is that we cannot have a job - well that's rubbish! I have a job I love, working in a hair salon and I am loving it! Lots of people with Down's have jobs. People say mean things but I do not lose heart, I believe all life precious and everyone is fearfully and wonderfully made no matter who they are, and no matter what disability.
Some people say that those with Down's will never be able to live independently, this one especially makes me cry as I live on my own. I have done for nine months now and I am loving it and wouldn't go back to my parents in a million years (well, apart from on Sundays for my Sunday roast!). People say we cannot learn, but I went to two mainstream schools and gained GCSEs in English, French and RE, Asdan maths and BTECs in cooking skills and applied science. I then did courses in hairdressing and customer service. Even medical people say negative things to mums with Down's babies, that they will never walk and talk. Most DS children will, but they may just take a little longer. I started walking at two and a half and anyone who knows me knows I never stop talking until I'm asleep, it's the only time my support workers get any peace and quiet!
I think we should value everyone, and value people for who they are and not what they achieve. I don't know why people say these mean things, buy together we can spread the preciousness of life and perhaps change people's hearts and thoughts. Justice for everyone!
Heidi is the sister of someone I know, and a totally awesome and amazing young woman who speaks up for what is right. Her words have made a big impression on me and I hope they will on YOU too. Have YOU got a message of support or a story to share with Heidi? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!