Amy Julia Becker’s daughter Penny was born with Down syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that can cause developmental disabilities. For weeks and months after Penny’s birth, Amy Julia worried about how close of a relationship she and Penny would be able to have, and she tried to reconcile her faith and beliefs with Penny’s diagnosis.
Comments from friends and strangers further complicated her emotions. Amy Julia found that people often didn’t know how to talk about Down syndrome. As Penny grew and developed — later than typically-developing babies her age — many people couldn’t seem to see past her disability. Instead of seeing a beautiful little girl with her own unique personality, some simply saw a child who wouldn’t be “normal.”
Two ways of seeing
Our culture doesn’t typically value life that seems “imperfect.” While in some ways we are more welcoming to children with special needs than previous generations — more schools offer mainstreamed classes…