Straight from the heart!

Straight from the heart!
To this day this speech still makes goosebumps on my arms and warms my heart. The words of a brother -- wise beyond his years. Happy Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week!!


Hey guys, and gals, you probably all know me, but for those who don’t, my name is Quinten, And I want to talk to you guys about Down syndrome, but more specifically Emmett, and what he has taught me.

He’s taught me to never give up.

When he was born, they thought he would die. The doctors didn’t give him much of a chance and my parents were consulted about funerals and palliative care. But no one told Emmett, and here he is today.

About Confidence

Emmett has taught me how to be confident. When I was little, I was nervous and I was insecure. Emmett has shown me that it’s okay. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, he’s good with being just the way he is

About Courage

Emmett has courage, Emmett tries new things, even though he is afraid. Emmett is an accomplished rider, Emmett loves to go to the swimming pool, even though he is terrified to put his face in the water. Emmett has learned how to skate, and he’s gone to hockey, even when people thought he couldn’t do it. Emmett always has the courage to go. Emmett earned a belt in Karate, and will earn another belt very soon, pretty impressive.

About compassion

Emmett has a lot of compassion, Emmett doesn’t care what color your skin is, and he doesn’t care where you’re from, who you are, how smart you are, how much money you have. If you need compassion, if you’re hurt, if you look sad, whatever the case may be, Emmett understands to lend a helping hand.

And about Humor

Emmett is funny. Emmett doesn’t mind sharing a joke, whether it’s on you or on him. Farts are funny, noises are funny, and dances are funny. Emmett knows how to laugh.

Emmett has Down syndrome, Emmett isn’t Down syndrome.

When you talk to Emmett, take the time to listen to what he has to say, it will be worth it. When you just dismiss him with a high five your treating him like a mascot, no one deserves that.

The R-word, don’t say it, your argument is invalid. I don’t want to hear why you said it or how it has to do with my brother or how you didn’t mean it in a derogatory way. It’s hate speech, its hurtful, when you say it, you’re saying it about someone who probably can’t defend themselves as eloquently as you. I want you to just stop saying it, it hurts Emmett, it hurts my parents, and it hurts me.

I see a future for my brother, it might surprise you,  I think someday we’ll probably share an apartment together, I’ll go to university, and he’ll go to university too. I think that Emmett will probably have more money than me, he’ll likely go to more parties than my, he probably won’t study as hard as he should, and his part-time job will probably be at a golf course. Emmett will likely own his own home, he’ll for sure have his own place, his own dog, he’ll probably get married, and mum will disapprove of his wife, just as she will of mine.

I tell you all these things and make Emmett seem like he’s different, and he can be. But I want to tell you our life is mostly normal, that Emmett is just like everybody else’s little brother or little sister, he touches my stuff, he wears my clothes without asking, he gets on my nerves, we fight, we argue, that’s pretty typical. 

Please don’t limit my brother, he’s going to grow up, he’s going to do all the things that everybody does. He’s your everyday, extraordinary person, just like you and me.