In this day and age when the value of someone's life is judged by their educational degree, job status, relationship status, and accomplishments, how can we as advocates answer one simple question?
How can we show that the lives of those with Down syndrome are valuable?
Judging those with Down syndrome on their IQs, ability to compete in the job market, independent skills, and other secular means seems to only highlight their areas of challenge. Sure, there are individuals with Down syndrome who do work, live independently, and go to college, but we all know that is not the case for every person.
We as advocates know that the lives of those with Down syndrome are important because we know them personally. We see their personalities, their feelings, their interests, and their opinions. We see them as human beings whose worth shouldn't be debated.
Human beings have physical needs (food, water, shelter, air), emotional needs (love, feelings of security), and even spiritual needs (for me that's a belief in God). At the core, we all need these things. In this way, we are all the same. What we do with our lives beyond these basics is different for every person. A different life with special needs doesn't mean a bad life. Different can mean different, but still considered good at the same time.
But for me, Jaycee's life is important because she has a soul (a mind, will, and emotions) that needs Jesus just like me. Every life is a life valuable to our creator and therefore should be to us too.