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Never give up on your child because you don’t know where or what the future holds.
When I found out that my son Tajorie Taylor had Down syndrome it had a negative impact on me, because of what people said. They would fail to understand, or decide that they would not like to discuss it, because they have grown up in a society where to them all kids with special needs are “retarded”.
It hurt me at that time but then I went to the Jamaica Down Syndrome Foundation and started finding out more things and interacting with more parents of children with Down syndrome.
Parents supporting parents
I saw how they interacted with others and how the parents shared their story about their kids and this made me feel like it was a safe space, so I didn’t really feel alone anymore. If I didn’t meet other parents of children with Down syndrome, then I would still be wondering what to do.
The Early Stimulation Programme has also helped tremendously because when you go to that programme I learned how to deal with my child, interact with him and do some activities. Before, I wouldn’t know what in the world to do. I would just sit down and waste time with the child without knowing what the child is actually capable of.
I turned all the negatives into positives. If I hadn’t done that it would have taken a toll on me emotionally and physically.
Learning from my child
Tajorie is now 3 years old. What makes the relationship I have with me and my child beautiful is that he pushes me to become larger than life itself.
I am so proud that I got that chance to carry such an extraordinary child into this world. He has taught me a lot in life although he’s still a kid. There are times when I feel disheartened, but he just uplifts my spirit. Just watching him grow into a great individual makes me want to go out there and do greater things in life.
UNICEF recently partnered with the Digicel Jamaica Foundation and the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities for the #iAmAbleJA campaign. You can see more stories on our Facebook and Instagram pages. #iAmAbleJA urges Government to protect and promote the lives of Jamaican children with disabilities by enforcing the Disabilities Act 2014; and invites families to register with the JCPD to access benefits.