#DontLimitMe- Amazing Message by a Student with Down Syndrome

By Lindsey Lipsky, MEd

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I am a huge fan of Twitter for the personal and professional growth it provides educators and communities across the globe (as outlined in my previous posts here and here), so it’s no wonder that this blog post is inspired by a Twitter conversation.

Recently the amazing Beth Foraker @InclusionChick, posted a hand-written note by Emily, a 15 year old student with Down Syndrome. Emily wrote this note in response to a question about her hopes and dreams for life after high school.  Here is the first tweet below:

In case you can’t read the picture, let me transcribe Emily’s letter below. She starts with a list of amazing goals for her future:

1. Go to college

2. Keep learning

3. Graduate like normal kids

(Yes, #3 on that list really touched me.)

Further down on the page Emily says something else that, as a teacher, really struck me:

“I want the teachers to treat me kind. Don’t act like you are frustrated with me. I have Down Syndrome and need help. I want the teachers to see how smart I am.”

Amazing.

Just like everyone else, Emily is asking us, begging us, to not get frustrated with her. To be kind. To help her. To see how smart she is. To never give up. A message that all teachers; former, current and future need to hear. #DontLimitMe

Just when I thought the message couldn’t get anymore inspiring, @InclusionChick posted something else: a message Emily had written on the very back of her note. (See tweet below.)

In case you can’t read it.  Here is what Emily wrote below:

“Time to see what I can do to test the limits and break through. Don’t limit me.”

Excuse me while I go wipe the tears off my face…

This letter is an amazing example of why we, as teachers, parents and community members, do what we do each day. Why we work so tirelessly to ensure our students with special needs get what they need and deserve. After all, isn’t it really all about how we can help our students become successful citizens and human beings, no matter the ability or circumstance?

Please join us in sharing this message on Twitter by using the hashtag #DontLimitMe – our new battle cry thanks to @InclusionChick.  Here is the tweet that inspired it all:

I hope this letter and subsequent messages on Twitter will help ignite a revolution, a revolution to help change how we treat and work with our students who have learning differences. Remember: When we change the way we think about learning for our students with special needs, we help change learning for ALL. #DontLimitMe

UPDATE: Please also check out this amazing post by Beth Foraker, @InclusionChick here on the power of Emily’s letter. 


Want more on the powerful message of #DontLimitMe?

Be sure to check out this amazing video by Megan Bomgaars, an inspirational young woman with Down Syndrome. It’s an inspiring four minute watch that you won’t be sorry you missed!

Big thanks to Beth Foraker, @InclusionChick for this amazing share; you are an inspiration to all of us!  #DontLimitMe

5 thoughts on “#DontLimitMe- Amazing Message by a Student with Down Syndrome

  1. Lindsey,
    Thank you so much for sharing my daughter’s goals. To be honest her words not only ring true in her education setting but for me as well at home. I think we all need a reminder from time to time of how the simple act of BELIEVING in someone can change their life! Beth is a precious friend of mine and the gave me encouragement I needed to stand up for my daughter and her dreams. #dontlimitme #believeinme

    • Julie,
      Thank YOU so much for sharing your daughter’s message with the world. I can tell that you are an amazing mother and advocate for Emily. She has an important message to share,and I’m so happy to share it with everyone. So lucky to know fantastic people like you and Beth. Thank you for the work you are doing, and will continue to do for not only your daughter, but for all children who learn and grow differently. You are an inspiration to us all.

      Yours,
      Lindsey

  2. Wow Lindsey that was an incredibly inspiring post. I’ve just come how lamenting how I can’t get through to some kids. I just can’t get them to move on. I’m worried because they’re becoming frustrated and upset…but so am I. I’m getting frustrated and impatient with them at times. I know I shouldn’t, of course. This article just turned me back around again.

    I love the quote: “It doesn’t matter how slowly a child learns as long as we are encouraging them not to stop.”

    That list from the Downs Syndrome child is really heart warming and breaking at the same time.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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