October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Around 6,000 babies each year are born with Down Syndrome in this country alone. However, misconceptions about the diagnosis abound, and often people can beâin many cases, unintentionallyâunkind to children (and adults) with the condition.
In an effort to raise awareness and educate the public, mom Jennifer Sanchez posted a video of her beautiful little girl, Sofia, on Facebook. In the video, Sofia frankly discusses her condition, dispelling any notion that kids with Down syndrome are scary or to be pitied.
"It's so exciting!" she says about her Down Syndrome.
Watch the video below:
Sofia is an inspiration for many reasons. Not only is the golden-haired girl (who is also an actress) an articulate spokesperson for kids with disabilities, but she also has survived a life of hardship. Abandoned as a newborn baby, Sofia spent the first 16 months of her life in a Ukrainian orphanage. She was then adopted by the Sanchezs, who were familiar with babies with Down syndrome, as they had already adopted an older boy with the condition.
Sofia's mom says that her daughter is a natural in front of the camera, and that her beautiful responses are all her own.
When she says, "Down syndrome is not scary" it is such a wise and important statement. So many people are afraid of the condition, and as a result, they tend to be timid or uncertain about adults and children who have it. They don't want to say the wrong thing or accidentally offend someone.
But, as Sofia so sweetly proves, she is just like every other little girl? except perhaps a tad stronger and more resilient! She proves that people do not need to be shy around kids with Down syndrome. They love to play, giggle, run, read books and learn just like other kids do. It's certainly a heartwarming message and it just shows that if Sofia can get in front of a camera and bravely own her truth, so should we all! Truly an inspiring little girl.