October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. As a therapist who has been practicing for more than 30 years, I am thrilled to see the change. Many misconceptions about Down Syndrome that focus on limitations in the ability to learn, work, and engage in life are fading. Individual strengths are being spotlighted and expectations are increasing for our friends with Down Syndrome. For instance, in the last five year, these barriers have been broken:
In 2018, John’s Crazy Socks, founded by John Cronin, an entrepreneur who has Down Syndrome, and his father, earned more than a million dollars in business.
In 2019, The Peanut Butter Falcon became the highest grossing independent film of the year and received critical acclaim.The film starred Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down Syndrome, in a lead role.
In May 2020, AnnaRose Rubright was the first person with Down Syndrome to receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
In November 2020, Chris Nikic became the first athlete with Down Syndrome to finish an IronMan triathlon.
These milestones showcase the potential and capacity that individuals with Down Syndrome have – and we celebrate them! However, there is still work to be done. There need to be more opportunities, more barriers coming down- for all people who are differently-abled.
At Enablr Therapy, we strive to partner with our clients and their families. Our mission is to help them reach their goals and become the best version of themselves. If you would like more information about Enablr Therapy’s services or our team of expert physical, occupational, and speech therapists, please head to our therapy services page.
Written by Rachel Morris, OTR/L
Rachel is the Director of Therapy for Enablr Therapy and a licensed occupational therapist with over 30 years of experience.