What does life for a 17-year-old with Down syndrome look like? In case you’re curious, I asked Penny a few questions about her life as we come to the close of Down Syndrome Awareness month. Here’s what she wrote:
What are three things you would want other people to know about you?
What are some of your hopes and dreams for the future?
I hope to find a boyfriend one day
One dream that I have for the future is to travel to Huntington Beach, Cali or the Bahamas. I want to go to Huntington Beach because I think from pictures It’s pretty and some of my favorite youtubers live there. I want to go to the Bahamas because I’ve been told the water is clear and I just think it would be a fun vacation spot.
What are your plans after high school?
We will be living in Watertown so one thing I plan on doing after high school is getting to know the Watertown Transition Program. The Watertown Transition program is a place where you meet new people and hopefully make new friends. Also it is like a class that I have now which basically is life planning. A question that I have is Will I learn the same things I am learning in Transitions class? I have had a summer job where I was working at a local cafe with some people I knew from school. I do eventually want to go to college but obviously not right away. I might want to live with close friends and we will figure out the place together.
What are some things you’re really good at?
Some things I am really good at are:
- Writing skills” My writing skills have improved this year by I am more descriptive and I have evidence to back up whatever I am writing.
- Public Speaking: I have been in 2 weddings in my life and I have made a toast at both.
- Cooking/Baking: On Tuesdays, I schedule in a cooking/baking time.
What are some aspects of life that are challenging for you?
Some challenges that I face are:
- Keeping a conversation going
- Dealing with someone else’s family drama
How do you feel about having Down syndrome?
I feel like a normal person but I know sometimes other people don’t look at me that way. When others look my way or in my direction they only look at the disability side of me but I know that I am more than that. Sometimes it feels weird to have other people look at me funny. I can either talk to the person directly or just not say anything.
How does having Down syndrome affect your everyday life?
I may need extra time on Homework or tests. Also I may need extra help in some classes. Down Syndrome can limit the friends that you make but I don’t feel that way personally. It also blesses you because you may have other people wanting to maybe be friends with you. Include you. It affects all three of those things. Time, Health and relationships. Because you may feel Isolated or not welcome but other people may notice you and want to include you.
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