It is a struggle for me to know how to describe our 5-year old daughter Penny, who has Down syndrome. On the one hand, I want to tell skeptical strangers that she’s smart, and I want to back up that loaded word with proof of her accomplishments. I want to describe how she asks, “Mom,…

 Over the past several weeks, we have been highlighting writings by adults with Down Syndrome and the book Writing Our Lives by those same adults, edited by Mary Ann Jansen. This week we have a collection of poems and an essay from the book.  To purchase your own copy of Writing Our Lives click here.…

The other night, Penny and William and I were reading Corduroy, a children’s book about a bear in a department store. A little girl saves her money to buy the bear. And they all lived happily ever after. As we were reading, Penny asked, “Mom, what’s a piggy bank?” I said, “Oh, it’s a place…

Last week, “Perfectly Human” featured a reflection by a Mary Ann Jansen. She described the process of leading a writer’s circle for adults with Down Syndrome. Today, Mary Ann agreed to share some of the reflections these adults offered to the questions: What is Down Syndrome?  How would you explain it to people? How do…

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Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes about theology, disability, family, and culture. Two major life experiences have shaped her writing and her faith—caring for her mother-in-law as she battled cancer and welcoming her daughter Penny into the world after she was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. Both experiences expanded and enriched her understanding of what it means to be human and to receive each and every person as a gift.  A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, and the forthcoming A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House). Her essays have appeared in First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Century, ChristianityToday.com, and Bloom, among other online venues.

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