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Today is World Down Syndrome day and it makes sense that my blog revolves around my favorite individual with an extra something special. My oldest son, Bailey has Trisomy 21, the bonus chromosome that makes him undeniably unique. This celebration was created as a global awareness day that has been observed by the United Nations since 2012.

If you have read my new book, Her Turn, I hope you fell in love with one of the characters, Owen, who not coincidentally has Down syndrome. I created that character as a tribute not only to my son, but everyone like him. These individuals deserve to be included in every aspect. Whether it is working in the community or being featured in a book, these amazing people deserve to have a voice.

Raising someone with special needs brings challenges. I’m not going to lie, it has been bumpy road, but the right people have been placed in our lives. His place of employment features a group of loving individuals who support and encourage him. (Fingers crossed and prayers up, that he can return to work in August.) Our extended family and friends have been his biggest cheerleaders.

Bailey is just like anyone else. He just wants to be included. He wants to experience life like his typical peers. If you own a business, don’t overlook the possibility of employing someone with Down syndrome. They can offer a wonderful element to your company. I am forever grateful to the company that hired Bailey. They took a leap of faith and it has worked out beautifully. These incredible humans make us all better people.