As humans, we all have a desire to connect with others. Sometimes, we long to find companions who understand what we have gone through – someone who “gets it.”The Road We’ve Shared is a place where kindred spirits can come together to learn, share, advocate, and just hang out and hear stories that let us know that we’re not alone.
Personally, I like the definition of kindred spirits that I found on The Urban Dictionary:
Kindred Spirits are two people that make a special connection by sharing a bond that has joined them by the means of an experience that has drawn them together on a higher level of consciousness. This connection can be from the same experience at the same time or two separate experiences similar in nature.
Have you ever heard someone say “wait until you have children, THEN you’ll understand?” Parents belong to a sub-group of our society that gives them a different outlook on things than people who don’t have children. If you have one or more children who have a label, who qualify as “special needs,” then you belong to a smaller sub-set of that group. You understand that when someone says “I have an IEP meeting for my daughter today” it could be a very stressful time for them. When we see a child who we think may have the same label as our child, we often give the parents a knowing smile – a look that says “we’re in the same club.”
Here on The Road, we belong to an even smaller sub-set of kindred spirits. We have shared experiences that may be totally different in actual detail, but are “similar in nature.”
Time and Space
One of the reasons we created our own community has to do with time and space. Our children were born in a different era – what we affectionately call “the old days” or pre – internet. It’s not that we don’t want to be a part of all the exciting things that are happening in the larger circle. We do. The truth is, we have different needs, and discussing them in an open forum with parents of younger children can cause unintentional friction. For example, medical information that we, as parents and caregivers of adults need to have can be frightening for parents of young children.
Our reality is different than the generations before us, and may end up being very different from the generations that come after us.
So if you’re a kindred spirit we’re here for you!We won’t promise that we’ll agree on everything, but we can assure you that your truth is welcome and respected here.
Working with Others
The purpose of pulling together in one community is to increase the volume of our voice. We are listening to what you say and we’ve been working hard to make the connections that allow us to share our perspective with the larger community. We are working with existing groups, making sure that our needs are included when priorities are set and action is taken in the name of the Down syndrome community.All together now!