When we first saw this video of mum’s singing and signing with their kids that have Down’s Syndrome, we were clutching at tissues and having a right old bawl. There is no doubt that there is a stigma surrounding disability from and within society at large. Those with disabilities and those that care for them have often been left feeling excluded, ‘less than’ and unwanted.
This simple video, a cut together of 50 mothers and their children is a powerful and moving testament to the unconditional love and perseverance of mothers. We want to say to the mummas who have children with disabilities, whether Down’s Syndrome or any other, you are wonderful. You are admired, praised, cherished, loved and we see you.
While it is precious and heartwarming to see a four minute video where mums and their children are having a great time signing and singing along to a moving song, it is important to acknowledge that the efforts, achievements and needs of mums of kids with disabilities goes deeper than that.
We see you on a Monday morning battling to get your cranky kid out of bed. We see you wrestling with flailing arms and screaming lungs when clothes are seen as the enemy. We are with you when moods and foods and everything seems to be setting your little one off. We see the low moments, when people, adults and even children have been unkind to your precious one. We see you when the system fails you and you have to fight for recognition, equality and access to services.
While words of affirmation can be encouraging we want our support to be more than that. We at KidNest want to encourage equality, community and support. For those of us that have kids without disabilities, let us not shy away from letting our little ones play with those that do. Kids learn behaviours and the treatment of others from us. Innately kids largely seek to include and love regardless of background or having one extra chromosome 21.
Kids and adults with disabilities have so much love, skill and life to give. This video is just a fraction of the joy, engagement and love that can come from giving them the opportunity to love, be loved and learn.