Family liking friends friendship

The Value of Friendship for My Daughter With Down Syndrome

I’ve been mulling over the theme of this year’s Learning Disability Awareness Week — “friendship” — and how it is framed in relation to my daughter’s learning disability and to our family. “Friend” was one of the first Makaton signs Betsy learned to use, I think from repeated, obsessive watching of “Mr.

Tumble.” She often signs “friend” when she meets those she loves. She is generous with her love and time. I can’t think about friendship without touching on how having a child with a learning disability has changed our friendships.

After our daughter Betsy was born with Down syndrome, we rapidly learned that people either understood inclusion and equality or they failed miserably at embracing a family with a disabled child.

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