Happy Down Syndrome Awareness month!
My name is Kaitlin, and I have two siblings – Kelsey and Kyle – both of whom are worthy of celebration year-round. Nevertheless, it’s October and Down syndrome awareness month is a wonderful excuse to highlight my brother Kyle and everything he gives to our family and the larger community.
Kyle is an avid superhero fan – from DC to Marvel, he could tell you the detailed backstory of any hero AND he’s generous with his expertise. Kyle carefully considers the traits and relationships of each hero in every universe, and he then matches them with friends and family members. I have at least three aliases across the superhero spectrum that Kyle has thoughtfully bestowed based on my personality and strengths (and maybe even some weaknesses).
Kyle himself has a particular affinity for the Flash- a superhero known for his speed. I’m no expert on the Flash, but I do like to run. It’s been wonderful to share this love of running with Kyle, who has been working on endurance as well as speed lately. Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, Kyle has been running with our Dad a few times a week and has lowered his personal best time in the mile by over a minute!
I couldn’t tell you which superhero persona matches Kyle the best. I can tell you that he’s thoughtful and very funny. I can tell you that he’s exceptional at reading a room and feels deeply for those around him. And I can promise you that you’d be hard pressed to find a better, more devoted friend than him.
As Kyle’s sister, I’ve had the privilege of growing up with the disability community; but not everyone is as lucky as me. For now, I hope an awareness month opens eyes and hearts to the value that the Down syndrome community has to offer. For the future, I hope that Down syndrome awareness month becomes Down syndrome celebration month, as we move beyond acceptance and towards appreciation.
Find out more about Down Syndrome Awareness Month HERE.