DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Down on the Farm- A Children's Picture Book

Down Syndrome

Dawn Alsept

A children's picture book for all children

When I was a child, I had a set of books that I could look at for hours. They were small picture books of children and their farm animal pets having adventures. I loved these books because I could pretend that I was having the adventure, and what child doesn’t love the idea of a farm with animals?

Fast forward to the present and I am now the mom of 6 children, I have shared these cute stories from my childhood with my children for many years. However, when I pulled them out for my youngest son, my child with Down syndrome, I began wondering if I would be able to find books of children who looked like him, doing fun activities that he would like to see children doing.  I found very little and decided it was time that the world at large saw children with Down syndrome enjoying the same things that all children enjoy. The farm life is now a part of my daily living as is Down syndrome. I hadn’t yet seen a book showing a variety of children who had Down syndrome just immersed in being children, so we created one.

"Down on the farm" features the abilities of those with Down Syndrome

It was a beautiful sunny day in June when I invited 10 children to the farm to have a photo shoot. It was wacky, crazy, fun and lively and the result was a beautiful picture book that anyone could enjoy.  

There is no mention of Down syndrome but for those unfamiliar with the genetic condition, one will see the pure joy of childhood.  Those who are touched by Down syndrome can be encouraged by seeing so many young children together in one place enjoying their adventures. The story line is simple, with rhyme and cadence that begs to be read aloud.  

I would have been wonderfully impacted by seeing something like this when we first received our son’s diagnosis. I don’t know that I had ever seen more than one child with Down syndrome before he was born, let alone ten in one children’s book. My hope is that this book will open the door to conversation, that it will be used in classrooms when the topic of diversity comes up, that new parents will be given a copy to see the abilities and adventure that there is to be had, regardless of a Down Syndrome diagnosis. Our book is being released on Amazon for World Down Syndrome day on March 21, 2018 and we would love for the world to embrace our lovely children!

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