Written and Illustrated by Jeffrey and his 4th Grade Friends
Alexandria Middle School, Pittstown, NJ
When one of Jeffrey’s fourth-grade friends asked what Down syndrome was, it was difficult to explain. At ten years old, the only “genes” they know are denim blue “jeans.” After briefly explaining that genetics determines a person’s sex, their eye and hair color, and whether they do or don’t have Down syndrome, we asked them to tell us how they might describe Down syndrome to other kids their age. As is always the case, the children exceeded our expectations. In their words, Down syndrome is “just like when you go to the store and buy two plants. The one has a beautiful flower and the other has just buds. The one with only buds on it will grow a pretty flower too. It will just take a little bit longer.”
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