A talk about people with Down's Syndrome

Kate is a cheerful, smiling, busy young woman. But just listen to what she wrote a little while ago:

When I was at school I was being bullied by my classmates, who didn't get on with me. They called me names. They wrote down lies about me. The bullies made my life at school very unhappy.

Why was Kate bullied? Other children thought she was different from them. That is because Kate has Down's Syndrome. This means that she was born looking a little different from other people because of something in her genetic make up.

We are, of course, all different from each other. Each of us is unique. We have different coloured hair. Different coloured skins. Different coloured eyes. Some of us are taller than others. Some of us have a disability.

But this is not a reason for bullying someone. There are no good reasons ever for bullying anyone. And if it is always bad to bully, it is even worse to bully someone because they have a disability.

How are people with Down's Syndrome different? Well, they look a little different. Their eyes slant upwards and outwards. They have rather round chubby faces. Do you think that is a good reason for bullying someone?

They are not always very quick to learn. But we all learn at different speeds. And some of us are good at somethings, and others are good at other things. So is that a good reason for bullying anyone?

People who have Down's Syndrome are amongst the happiest and most loving people in the world. And is that a good reason for bullying them?

I feel very sad that Kate had such a bad time at school.

But let me tell you something good that happened to Kate. She went to college and then she got a job as editor of a special magazine. It is called Down to Earth, and it is written by and for people with Down's Syndrome. Thousands of people read it. Now Kate gives talks in schools about what it is like to have Down's Syndrome. And she answers questions about herself.

Don't you think that that is pretty brave and pretty clever? It takes a lot of confidence to do what Kate does.

This is Down's Syndrome Awareness Week and it gives ut the chance to learn about what makes people with Down's Syndrome special, like Kate.

Return to Down's Syndrome Awareness index page