Wonder Wednesday's are a unique way to bring understanding as to why inclusion within our schools and communities is so important. The story of Dr. Nicole Fearing's beautiful life about her daughter with Down Syndrome, Harper, is an inspiration to us all. No one should be left out, and no one should be left behind. We should be embracing all of our talents and hidden skills. Harper sure brings her own beautiful and amazing skills and talents to not only her family, but to her school and community.
Nicole Fearing's Story:
"I used to think Harper would be limited having Down Syndrome. I realize now that her only limitations are the ones we place on her. When we first found out she had Down Syndrome, I lamented that she might never go to prom, go to college, get married, or drive a car. I talked about it at one of the Down Syndrome new parent meetings. After I said that, a man spoke up. “This is my son Danny, and he calls Harper as his date for prom.” I soon learned that the things I worried about were not true. She will be able to do all of those things if she chooses to.
She had a lot of therapists when she was little. One of our favorites used to tell us “most kids with Down Syndrome just smile and do what you ask. Harper complains about it the whole time. That’s how we can tell she is going to do well”.
Harper wants you to know she plays Roadblocks like all of her friends on the computer. In fact she loves playing on the computer. She has learned to turn off all parental controls, change the passwords and buy herself a few things off of Amazon. When we have asked her how she learned that she just says, “Its easy for me.” And shrugs her shoulders.
She thinks she is a great baseball player like her favorite Royals player, Alex Gordon. She can also pitch and hit well.
She likes to play badminton and has been practicing to be a better hitter. She really wants to be a cheerleader in high school. She takes piano lessons and has for years because her mom “makes her”. She is excited to join the 5th grade band this year.
She loves her school, St. Agnes Catholic school. She is in the 5th grade. She loves her teachers and principal, her friends and her favorite subject-Recess.
As you can see, she just wants to be like any other kids. We don’t treat her any differently because of that. Someone asked me a long time ago what we give her to help her do so well. We give her the gift of treating her like every other kid, and with that she thrives."
With Nicole's story, we see that Harper only wants to be treated like any other child. This is why inclusion within our schools is so important. Harper's true light will bring joy and love to those around her. We can learn so much from Harper and individuals with disabilities. We aren't gifting them, they are gifting us with their true beauty and love. Nicole's story reminds us of that, and Harper reminds us of that. I mean, just look at that smile!!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14.