Our baby’s not a ‘Downs child,’

He is a child with ‘Downs.’
The wording is important
to eliminate the frowns.

When he was born it was a shock,
you wonder how you’ll cope.
How can this have happened?
You worry, but there’s hope.

Very soon you realise
your baby’s very special.
He turns your routine upside down,
your life becomes eventful.

His first smile’s so important,
so is his first word.
His first step is a milestone,
he is undeterred.

He approaches every challenge
with enthusiasm.
An inspiration to us all,
more photos for the album.

You simply change your goals,
discover a new place.
Your child will teach you gratitude
for whatever you might face.

You discover Ups ‘n’ Downs,
a Support Group run by parents.
They’ll advise you how to cope,
develop some forbearance.

They’ll help you come to terms,
tell you what they’ve achieved.
There’s no one better you can ask
than those with similar needs.

As time goes by you’ll wonder
how you lived before.
He’s enriched your life beyond compare,
a child, you adore.

I’d like you to choose carefully, the words you might say
When you see my baby in the general day-to-day.

He is a darling  baby boy who happens to have Down’s syndrome
The result of a small chemical accident and an extra chromosome.

But don’t call him ‘Downs Baby’, ‘A Downs’ or ‘Downs Boy’,
It makes him sound like a different breed, an animal or stuffed toy!

And please don’t make judgements like a book by its cover,
Like all other children, he’s very different from any other,
Don’t offer some generalised statement that’s outdated and might go…
‘He’ll be so loving and cuddly’.
How on earth do you know?!

It might not be easy to say words that don’t offend,
So just be honest and considerate so together we can mend
Society’s choice of words – because we need to emphasise that
Your words do make a difference to the way we feel inside.

So let’s get it right.
He is a baby WITH Downs.
Not a ‘Downs baby’.
Remember, other way round!!

He’s a human, like you, with just a little bit more
And if we were all the same, wouldn’t life be a bore?

Do please share this poem with others that you know
So down the road to ‘thoughtful language’, we all can humbly go.

And if you‘re a professional or involved in any way,
You’re the forefront of our campaign.
Get it right.