I created this website because when I was six years old, my little sister was born with Down Syndrome.
At six, I didn't understand what that meant, or how it would differ from a sibling without Down Syndrome. As far as I was concerned, I was just upset that I didn't get an older brother like I asked (again - I was six) and that my mother refused to let me name my sister "Bob" (Though, she did let me pick the middle name "Amy").
As I've gotten older, I've begun to understand Down Syndrome and my sister a little bit more.
I understand that sometimes, parents don't want to let their kids play with her, like Down Syndrome is contagious (its not). I understand that she is smart, and likes ballet, loves swimming, and is more or less like any other kid once you give her a chance. It just takes her a little longer.
Even by seven years old I decided that I was going to be a doctor to "help people like my sister", while now, at 18, that has been refined to "pediatric neurologist", the inspiration remains the same: Alexa Amy Bonge, my little sister. Even when she says things like "You go to college, I'm only child now" - I love her with all my heart. Having Down Syndrome is a single facet of her, not her entire being.
The video below is from seven years ago, when we first adopted our cat Jackie. Tell me she doesn't look like any other four year old with a kitten.
Sometimes people have trouble understanding her when she talks, like a lot of kids with Down Syndrome, she has trouble enunciating. But even if people could understand her perfectly, I don't think they'd listen.
Which is why I've made Downs But Not Out - to speak out for her, and other kid with Down Syndrome. To help out parents expecting a child with Down Syndrome. Sometimes, its scary, sometimes its hard, but its not the end of the world.
Now, Alexa is eleven years old. She wants to be a model and/or ballerina. She can read picture books and is starting on beginner's chapter books. She operates the Oculus Rift better than I do. (See video below).
She's different, but she is never less.
The name "Downs But Not Out" is a play on a phase in boxing "down but not out" - meaning, you got knocked down, or your opponent has the upper-hand, but you're not out of the fight just yet.