We have just come back from holidays in Hungary and I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if my Mother had not had the inclination to defect from Hungary with me in tow, but had stayed and all other aspects of my life had been the same.
Whenever we go abroad with SJ and Pippa, it has usually been the case that SJ would get the stares or the attention, which sometimes worked in Pippa's favour but often it did not.
For example in all the Spanish resorts that we have ever been too, SJ has been treated almost like royalty. She has been given free cakes, been first in line for the dinner queue, allowed to go through customs without any queries (bit worrying that one as it was after 9/11 and security in England was very tight) and perhaps most frustratingly, when in Barcelona making our way back to the airport, lugging individual suitcases of two weeks worth of clothes, SJ was the one who had her bags carried up and down the many flights of stairs that had to be negotiated. Pippa was not amused. She was only eight at the time. Spain has always welcomed my daughter and treated her with utmost respect. In one of the villages that we stayed there was a young
This time we went to Hungary and we were the centre of attention for another reason. It was because we were four women on holiday without a man. Quite unheard of.
It made me think though as in all the years that I have been to Hungary I have never seen a young person of any age who has Down Syndrome. I have even asked my cousins why this is and they do not know. I became very concerned about this and was worried about what facilities were available. Then I found this website and I am relieved to find that progress is being made at an amazing rate, please take a look at the videos. It doesn't matter that you do not understand the language but you can see what innovative way they introduce sound into play. It also shows how determined the carers are in ensuring that their young charges develop as fast as possible in line with children of a similar age who do not have Down Syndrome. That is what is said by the Principal of the organisation.
And just for the record as we were leaving, we could see at the corner of our street, two young women with Down syndrome working on the flower beds. I wish I could see more of the same in England.
So would SJ have been better or worse off if we had been in Hungary? Difficult to say with just a snapshot, but judging from the video, I think she would have had a fighting chance.
Just to conclude the weather was lovely and sunny and we spend a very nice week at Lake Balaton. The smells of the trees, grasses and flowers was intoxicating. I can't wait to go back.