I’ve always been different and that’s okay. My name is Ellen and I am 17 now. I was born different – I have something called Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is a developmental disability which can cause delays in physical and intellectual development.
From the time I was a baby, I received help from professionals. I was enrolled in early intervention programs where professionals taught me different ways to interact, play and learn.
Down Syndrome just means it takes me a longer time to learn things than other kids at school. I spend most of my day in a regular school classroom and some of the day in a resource room learning and reinforcing basic academic skills. I joined diving programs, Girl Scouts and camp. I like music and some sports too. I am now in a transitional program in high school to get me better prepared for life after school and being more independent.
I am learning lots of life skills like public transportation, grocery shopping and volunteer opportunities. I am the first to say that having Down Syndrome can be frustrating at times especially when I have trouble learning new things. My younger brother is faster at reading than me but I always remind myself that everyone learns at different speeds. I do the best I can!