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5 Things I Learnt While Working With Children Who Have Down Syndrome

My eye opening time with children who have down syndrome made me re-examine my life and priorities.

I volunteered at a NGO from children with Down’s Syndrome and here is what it taught me.

On a recent trip to Nepal, I had this sudden urge to volunteer for any social cause. I looked around for places where I could be of some use in helping and assisting anyone who needs my assistance. Through a common friend I came across this place which take care of special children (especially children with Down Syndrome) and on the first visit I fell in love with the place and requested them to let me volunteer and they agreed!

So here are 5 things I learnt from spending my time with these special and precious children.

1. Happiness

ughhhh… Social media and the virtual world has changed our perception regarding happiness. Happiness for us is a new car, perfect nails or wanderlust but for these children happiness is you smiling and hugging them , sunshine, clear blue skies and random sweets and treat they get occasionally. According to me these children on average are happier than the ‘normal’ children. I almost felt guilty of being the way I am and searching for happiness in new a iphone or an overpriced latte at Starbucks! They redefined it for me and now I smile often and be happy at this moment and this day. As they do, one day at a time.

2. Reselience

There is no time for pity party for these kids. They were fierce, strong minded and ready to take on any tasks no matter how challenging, head on! I was surprised by how during physical activity classes some of these children would fall down due to deformities in their feet but get back up and start running again, fall, get back up and so on and so forth. This drive was impeccable, no matter how hard someone fell, within seconds they were up again, ready for the run.

3. Love and Respect

Whenever any small child in the group had problem with anything the elder ones were ready to help them! Whether it was helping them to drink water, tying their shoelaces or feeding them food from their own plate. The bond and community spirit was something I rarely see in the outside world. These kids were way more loving and helpful than a normal adult in 21st century!

4. Passion

Children with down syndrome have difficulty in speaking and communicating but what fascinated me was the unique passion everyone had. One child was passionate about football and especially Neymar Jr! (He wears his jersey everyday and only writes his name in the notebook and nothing else) the other is passionate about dancing and knows every step of every Nepali song. Each child has his/her own passion and they sure do love to dance and sing at any given moment!

5. Healing

These children healed me, with them my problems and issues seemed so insignificant and menial. Their happiness is contagious and their smile is a medicine. They way they danced, laughed, played in the wind made me a child again, no failure or heartbreak can ever withstand when you are surrounded by them. They heal you, they make you see life differently and just like you feel while sitting under a starry night, when your problems seem so trivial, you feel the same when you spend the time with these children.

“Sometimes real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles”
~ Anonymous

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