April A to Z Blogging Challenge: Belonging

 

One of the best things about being different is finding others who are different like you.

If you’re so inclined, you can find a fantastic group of friends in what we refer to as the “Down syndrome community.”

“Feeling that you belong  is most important in seeing value in life and in coping with intensely painful emotions.” –Psychology Today

My son put a fine point on this subject for me when we arrived at a recent NDSC conference and he proclaimed in the proudest of voices: “These are my peeps!”

(Click on a picture for larger version)

Belonging is also important to us as parents. Whether it’s a knowing glance from across a table during an IEP meeting, shared tears when injustice occurs, or a laughing emoticon on a status update, being friends with someone who “gets it” is priceless.

Theory:  While inclusion is arguably one of the most important goals of advocacy in our community, we should also stand up for those who choose spaces where belonging is cultivated.  

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.

Where do you go to feel understood?

 

[Thank you to Just Joshin’ Ya for the Special Olympics photo.]

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