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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

Who Loves Me?

Every night, when we put Caila to sleep, after her bedtime story,the last thing she asks us to do is to go through a list of everyone who loves her. We rattle off the names of family, friends, class mates, teachers and therapists. She beams through the whole process and then turns onto a her side with beautiful look of pure content and off to dream land she goes.

Caila feels so loved and accepted. In spite of her challenges she is exceptionally confident and will always offer to lead davening (prayers) for the whole class. Her favorite thing is to stand on a chair when we have a big Shabbat dinner and sing a song or answer Parsha questions in front of 150 plus people. This is a confidence born from unconditional love and acceptance.

Flash back just a generation ago when it was recommended to institutionalize babies with Down syndrome. No doubt their parents loved them but they were not exposed to a community and a world of love and acceptance. No–one believed that these kids had potential. y and as a result, they have the potential to achieve so much. Watch this video clip, like and Caily is part of a generation that have been given unprecedented intervention and opportunity share it so we can educate the world about what is possible So many people with DS are aspiring to great heights and we are looking forward to Caila’s journey. We expect a lot and give her every bit of support that she needs, but at the same time, will never be disappointed if she does not reach a target.

Our birthday blessing to Caila on the occasion of her 6th birthday is that she should continue to be a light that shines bright and we hope that she touches every person she meets and helps each person change their knee jerk reaction to seeing a person with Down syndrome. We hope that Caila can help the world drop their stereo types and join in her journey to helping the world completely accept her and all people with disabilities.

Originally published: February 25, 2014


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