Join occasion to mark World Down Syndrome Day


March 21 marks the 18th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, and for the 12th year in 2023, this day will be officially observed by the United Nations. The date, March 21, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome. It is also considered a day of global awareness for everyone to make it a better day than any day in support for individuals with Down syndrome.

On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who share their lives with them around the world organize and take part in activities and events to promote public awareness to create a single global voice advocating for people with Down syndrome’s rights, inclusion, and wellbeing. Although there are not many families with Down syndrome in the CNMI, friends and families are encouraged to observe and celebrate this unique day.

The theme for this year’s WDSD is “We Decide.” This focuses on the rights of people with Down syndrome to participate in. There are numerous ways to celebrate WDSD in your community. For the past years, on WDSD, some people wear brightly colored odd socks. This is because chromosomes closely mimic socks! This year we are mimicking last year’s celebration by wearing our mismatched socks in a way to promote our differences. Let us encourage our community to follow suit. In classrooms and daycares, teachers and caregivers can create lessons and activities that relate to World Down Syndrome Day. We also encourage our community to post or share pictures of your crazy socks and activities to our social media (Facebook) page at @DSCNMI.

Anyone who wishes to support the DS community in the CNMI, we invite you to join our support group. The group meets on a monthly basis with the help of CHCC’s Family-2-Family (F2F) outreach program.

Patrick Castillon, Ed.D., is a parent advocate for children with Down Syndrome and is a classroom teacher at San Vicente Elementary School.

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