As Lulu’s parents, we’ve always made sure throughout her life that she was kept very busy with loads of outdoor and physical activities, so lockdown certainly took some serious adjusting!
Nevertheless, Lulu was very receptive to go over school work with her dad, to cooking, gardening, live P.E. sessions on TV and taking short walks around the block. Also, until life goes back to some kind of normalcy, Lulu’s tutor calls her regularly and keeps abreast of everything she’s up to.
We could feel, though that she was missing interacting with her dear buddies from our support group called T’es Cap 21 (You are Able 21). So, we rallied to remedy this issue and came up with Zoom sessions to chat or to do all sorts of activities together such as a weekly flamenco session! It turns out that the activity they all enjoyed the most was when we organised a T’es Cap 21 Fashion Show online, together with great local fashion designers and we even took that opportunity to introduce a product we designed to help finance our future projects: a magnificent blue silk scarf.
Just like in many countries, our children with DS are hopefully very well looked after from birth to about 19 years old, in terms of early-interventions and government-backed activities. Once they become adults, though, the options shrink dramatically and they can either stay at home with their family, or get into supported–living accommodation, or attend specialised centres for adults with various degrees of learning difficulties. None of these 3 options can make the most of the hard work put into them for the past 20 years or so. Actually, due to the lack of a stimulating environment and activities tailored to their potential, they tend to regress.
So, this is how, with a handful of parents determined to shift that norm and create valuable opportunities for our adult children, a very unique support group called T’es Cap 21 (You are able 21) was born.