This is my “ask” for our congressmen in Washington; 2019 National Buddy Walk on Washington.
Shawn Pittman – Stay at Home Mother, Blogger and Advocate for Down Syndrome
Hello, my name is Shawn Pittman and I am a mother to triplets, Coldon, Ella and Greyson. Prior to becoming a mother, I worked in Marketing and my husband Jay and I enjoyed traveling, hiking and backpack camping. My story is unique, because not only do I have triplets, but Coldon was born with Down syndrome. We didn’t know he had Down syndrome until they were born and we weren’t prepared for his diagnosis. We weren’t prepared to bring home three babies, so an added Down syndrome diagnosis was just another challenge in the already challenging life with triplets. Enduring the babies first year has been a stressful experience, but what new parent hasn’t said the same thing about their child’s first year; disability or no disability?
Thankfully, Coldon is healthy and we haven’t faced some of the more difficult challenges associated with Down syndrome. However, Down syndrome has not defined who my family is and I don’t view my triplets as the Pittman triplets and Coldon who has Down syndrome They are they are the Pittman triplets; three individual babies who do what babies do. Coldon doesn’t require anything different from his brother and sister. In fact, he is my easiest baby; his sister, Ella is our challenge as I’m sure she always will be.
I am Coldon, Ella and Greyson’s mother and as a mother, I have devoted my life to ensuring my children have every opportunity to become whomever they choose to be. However, because Coldon has one more chromosome than his younger, by two minutes, brother and sister, he is immediately excluded from many opportunities; opportunities you and I may take for granted as they are our civil rights as an American. Jay and refuse to tell Coldon he can’t do something because he has Down syndrome, while Ella and Greyson are enjoying the opportunity and we will not accept society telling him he can’t do something; get married, have a career of his choosing, go to college or live on his own, because of old laws.
Coldon watches every move his siblings make and it made my heart break when he couldn’t crawl to where they were, by himself, to be with them. Now he can crawl to join them and I see the happiness all over his face. I won’t tell him he can’t always be part of the bond he and his brother and sister share. As Coldon’s voice, I’m asking you to cosponsor all nine of the proposed bills, as they will impact our entire family in the future. Please help us change these laws, so Coldon won’t be held back by laws, but given the same civil rights and opportunities as his triplet brother and sister.
This bio/letter is only a snippet of my life and why I am fighting for Down syndrome! The men, women and children I have met, who have Down syndrome are truly incredible people and I will fight for them alongside Coldon until they are treated as equal as you and I.
A phrase I have become obsessed with; “it’s not Down syndrome holding us back, it’s Law syndrome that’s holding us back.” This message is so powerful and couldn’t be more true of individuals with Down syndrome. Coldon has endured things at 13 months old, most individuals will never have to face, but you wouldn’t know any different.
Let’s end #lawsyndrome!
For more information please visit: https://www.lawsyndrome.org/