More understanding for Down syndrome keiki

Dear Editor,

At the park recently, a cute boy asked me about my son whom he’d remembered from his basketball team this past spring, like, how old is he? what grade is he in? what does he like to eat? Is he in Special Olympics? He wondered why Jason was older than he was, but in a lower grade at school.

I said Jason was born with Down syndrome. That means he learns a little slower than others, but he learns. I shared how he won the silver medal in swimming the 25-yard freestyle at his first Hawaii Special Olympics this summer.

Children of all ages want to know about our kids who were born with Down syndrome, and we need to know how to answer them. At the beginning of my son’s kindergarten year, his teacher published a short letter from me in her weekly class newsletter to share a little about him with students and parents who may have questions.

I hope that all parents might feel free to share about their children born with Down syndrome!

Linda Elento

Kaneohe (See related photos on Page 6.)