UniqueandLove

Creating an Inclusive World where Individuality is Celebrated and Self-Esteem is High.

Alistair

Alistair has Downs Syndrome.

I read a book before Alistair was born that advised me that one day I might forget that he does. I didn’t quite understand it at the time, but I fully get it now. Alistair is not ‘the little boy with Downs Syndrome.’ Alistair is Alistair, every beautiful part of him.

Alistair is cheeky, empathetic, loving, funny, and kind. He loves running, dancing, singing, his TV programmes, learning, his big brother and food.

Alistair has a glint in his eye, which means it can be a challenge to keep a straight face when he has done something he knows he shouldn’t, especially when he checks to see if I’m looking, smiles and does it anyway.

He loves his big brother Laurence. They have a very special relationship that makes me feel incredibly proud. Alistair tries to copy almost everything he does when they are together from wearing his goalie gloves to mirroring his hand actions and mannerisms. He will do things for Laurence that he would refuse to do for me, and he laughs the hardest and the loudest whenever the two of them are rolling around together.

If Laurence is ever upset, Alistair will go to him and give him a caring brotherly cuddle. It always works. If ever I am having a struggle, a squeeze from Alistair can make things make sense again. I think his cuddles might be magic.

He knows how to make us laugh. If he’s said something that we have once found funny, he says it again and again, sometimes there and then, sometimes days later. He loves to make us laugh and gets a buzz from making us happy.

He loves to run. He is fast. He runs to school, he runs in the park, he runs towards the places we are going and often in the other direction. I always wear flat shoes when I’m with Alistair, and mainly trainers, just in case he sprints off.

Alistair loves to dance. He’s not so keen on people watching him, but at home he likes to let loose. He loves to sing. He loves to wear his headphones and we love to guess which song he is listening to. We used to try to guess the song from his Makaton, but now he is so confident with his speech he loves to belt out the words.

Alistair loves to watch The InBestigators and Andy and The Band and watches the episodes on repeat. He loves to pretend that we are all characters from the programmes and we have to act out his favourite parts. As soon as he wakes up in a morning we can hear him pretending to be all of the different characters talking to each other or singing the theme song.

Alistair loves to learn. He can be patient and give his full attention and concentration when he has an interest that inspires him. At the minute, he loves phonics. He is making great progress with his reading and writing. He loves reading books and can recite his favourite Room on the Broom almost word for word from start to finish. We’ve read it a lot!

Alistair loves food. He would eat sausages, pasta and cake everyday if he could. If anyone sat next to him hasn’t finished their meal and if its something he likes, you need to watch out for a stealthy hand trying to whip it away.

Alistair can appear shy and vulnerable or he can be confident and light up a room. He can be charming and heart-warming, or if he doesn’t want to engage with someone, he won’t, and there isn’t much you can do about it. He can approach the same situation in many different ways, so we can’t make assumptions about how he might respond. He keeps us on our toes!

Alistair has changed our whole perspective on life. He has had a deep impact that I couldn’t have even imagined. I believe that Alistair being in the world has caused others to challenge their perceptions and I am very proud of him for doing that.

Alistair is oblivious to the impact he has had and the joy and opportunity he has brought with him.

To him, he is just Alistair.

To me he is Unique and incredibly Loved.

Written by Alistair’s mum Alison