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Now that you've had a chance to read his words and form a mental image of my son, would it change if I were to also tell you he has Down Syndrome? Does having a disability somehow lessen those qualities one may possess? Matthew has overcome many obstacles related to his disability through sheer determination and an eagerness to learn. However, I have discovered that his greatest obstacle in life is not his disability. The greatest obstacles to overcome are the misconceptions and negative attitudes that so many folks seem to have for those with disabilities. I've always considered myself to be open minded and tolerant. Until my son was born, it never occurred to me that intolerant attitudes also exist towards people with disabilities. All children feel the need to belong and to be accepted for who they are as unique individuals. Children with disabilities are no different. I am sharing the details of our experiences to illustrate the powerful impact the attitudes of others have upon children with disabilities and their families. If you look beyond the disability, you'll see that my child is not so different from yours.
Created by Susan Hickman
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Updated: 15 September 2011