I Love Who I Am, and I Love My Life

I Love Who I Am, and I Love My Life

My name is Melissa Silverman and I am 34 years old. Through the years, I have been involved with many different programs, such as Girl's club, Brightside project, Special Olympics swimming and soccer, Jewish Big Brothers and Sisters, attending National Down Syndrome Congress conventions, being a board member for 3 years on the NDSC board, numerous public speaking engagements on self-advocacy, and attending the Live Up weekends for adults with Down Syndrome.

A Child is Waiting

A Child is Waiting

It’s hard – impossible, really - to talk about our son Isaac without mentioning ‘Down Syndrome’ and ‘adoption.’ Our journey into parenthood was not simple. The road was long and the trek was difficult. After struggling with infertility for a few years, my husband and I made the decision to grow our family through adoption. 

The Beauty of The Moment

The Beauty of The Moment

Seeing the beauty in being different. That’s what we all strive for -- others to be able to see the beauty in our differences. I see the beauty in my daughter Liliana, 18 months old, born with Down syndrome. She is every bit as amazing and unique as the next 18 month old without Down syndrome. That is what makes her perceived differences no different than the rest. 

More of a Family than a Clinic

More of a Family than a Clinic

Thirty-two+ years ago, a young couple contacted the Loyola College Speech and Language Center in Columbia requesting speech and language treatment for their young son with Down syndrome. That family, along with a handful of other families who were founding members of CDSPG, helped jumpstart our fledgling program and served as an impetus for a 6-year grant from the Strauss Foundation to enable us to develop a treatment program for children with Down syndrome. 

My Brother, My Sister

My Brother, My Sister

As I fill out my college applications, I can’t help but think of my brother and sister who will not be going to college or even graduating from high school. They will never have a high paying job. They will never be able to drive a car. They will never be able to independently support themselves. When society sees people like them, they automatically jump to certain conclusions.

Finding Our Way Down the Path

Finding Our Way Down the Path

Jackson was 2 years old and I was still struggling to accept his diagnosis, the medical issues, the therapy sessions, and scheduling demands of balancing a nursing career with motherhood. This path we were on was so unfamiliar and so full of pot holes. I loved this little boy but could somehow not reconcile the grief. I hadn’t chosen this path. I didn’t think I was strong enough to walk this road. 

Coming Home

Coming Home

We have sent our children to Catholic schools since our oldest started kindergarten 10 years ago. Giving our children a faith-based education was a priority not only for the religious foundation it provided, but also for the consistency attending Catholic schools offers a military family.