Welcome to Illinois

Down’s syndrome does not discriminate

Posted in Attitudes to disability, Support services by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on November 14, 2008

“We aren’t monsters. People look at us as if we were from another planet and are afraid to stay by our side,” he said with a voice full of bitterness.

“I want to share with other children the same hopes they have and live in an environment that sees us as children with some health problems and not ogres.”

Those words were spoken by Younnis Mohammad, an Iraqi child living with an extra chromosome, according to this report from IslamOnline.net.

It’s a really compelling article that demonstrates that while people with Down’s syndrome are discriminated against the world over, Down’s syndrome itself does not discriminate based on creed or colour.

Also it’s good to see something related to Down’s syndrome other than the false stories about women with Down’s being used as suicide bombers.

Here are some more comments, this time from Ali Hazeem Tareek.

“I hope one day I will be able to walk in the streets and no one will keep looking at me as if I was an abnormal person,” he said.

“I have feeling, I feel pain and sorry. The only thing I want is an opportunity to share the society with dignity.”

I think this is one of the few news articles I have read about people with Down’s syndrome that leads with the perspective of such a person, rather than a carer or medical professional. Unfortunately, while children like Ali and Younnis are better cared for than in other countries, like everyone else they are suffering for living in a war-torn country.

The report continues:

“Abdul Lattif, who has a Down syndrome child herself, noted that these children need professional help.

“Professionals like dentists, speech therapists, psychologists and neurologists are essential to the development of these children but they aren’t available,” she explained.

“And when we can get someone to help us, it is just for one visit while they need a constant follow up.”

The lack of aid has forced many care centers to reduce daily food quotas for the children.

“We don’t have choice here,” regrets Nuria Sabah, the director of House of God’s Angels.

“We want to do a voluntary work but for that you need support that is inexistent.

“I hope the government and big NGOs can feel our need and give more help because if the situation continues like this, we will be forced to close down and send these kids home where for sure they won’t be able to stand up alone for long.”

The government says it is planning future projects for Down syndrome children.

“We know how important is to have a special care for all those children with Down syndrome,” Health Ministry official Abeer Salam told IOL.

“However, the ministry is suffering with lack of investments in many areas, especially in projects department but we are hoping that after provincial elections, the central government will give more support to social projects rather than involve only with politics.””

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