Chronic Climber

 After my brother was born, we soon learned he was a happy, vivacious child.  He was alert and quite the climber.  Before he could even walk, he climbed everything.  Mom would be out in the kitchen preparing food for Dad and the hired man when my brother would crawl out to the kitchen and pull himself up on the counter of the cupboards.  He was quite resourceful when he learned if he couldn't climb something, he pushed a chair up to where he wanted to be.

We had two chairs in front of the steep stairway with a beautiful wood banister.  My brother thought it was a game to go upstairs and be chased.  With the chairs in front of the banister, he was unable to take off and go up those stairs.  Guess what he did?  He climbed up on the chair in front of the stairway and swung his body over the banister and sped up the stairs.  He was already at the top and quickly crawling to the rooms before anyone noticed.  

Okay, okay.  You may be thinking of the obvious solution of perhaps having a safety gate in place rather than two chairs in front of the stairs.  Great idea.  However, the safety gate was useless.  He climbed over that too.  I remember at six years old, I was in charge of watching my baby brother.  And believe me, as much as I adored and cherished him, I did think he was quite a little stinker because not much could stop him when he was determined to do something.  

Here, my parents had heard so many remarks about having a child with Down syndrome and got the impression that their son would be passive clueless about his surroundings.  They had no idea how active and curious he would be. They saw this as a good sign and chuckled through this stage.  This was only the beginning of the adventures and life we had with him.  

I know several parents have commented that their child with Down syndrome can do much more than the doctors said was even possible.  Perhaps, it's because all children with Down syndrome 40 years ago were labeled and stereotyped as having all the same qualities.  Believe me, every single person with Down syndrome has an individual personality and abilities just like we do.  

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