Life, love and work as a young woman with Down syndrome
CID Member Tara was recently interviewed about what her life is like as a young woman with Down syndrome.
Do people stare at you?
Yes! I just smile at them.
Do people treat you differently?
Yes sometimes. But I smile and say thank you if they give me their seat on the train.
If they are rude I say ‘I am OK but you are mean.’
Do people make jokes about Down syndrome?
Not to me.
But they did to my brothers. This was upsetting for my family.
What was school like?
It was good…most of the time.
Sometimes I was bullied. But I learnt lots of good things
I had some wonderful teachers.
And I still see lots of my school friends. I went to Fiji to one friend’s wedding.
Did you find it hard to get a job?
When I left school I did work experience for 18 months, at Target, Penfolds and a law firm.
Then I went to TAFE to do a Certificate 2 in Business.
I worked as an Admin Assistant at Ageing, Disability and Home Care NSW (ADHC) for 7 years.
Now I work at the NSW Ombudsman as a trainer and admin and support in the Community Education Training Unit.
I am a trainer in Speak Up for people with disabilities, and train in disability awareness for employees and TAFE students.
Can people with Down syndrome have children?
Yes but they may need extra support.
Can people with Down syndrome live by themselves?
I have many friends that have moved out of home and have support to help them.
Moving out is one of my goals.
What things do people with Down syndrome need at home?
I need support with budgeting, cooking, shopping and planning.
Also motivation to do the cleaning!
Is it hard to find a relationship?
Yes it is but I am still looking. So is my brother.
We all want the same things – to be loved and have a special person.
What would you say to someone who had their unborn child tested for Down syndrome and chose to terminate the baby?
It is their choice.
But they would miss having someone like me in their lives.