World Down Syndrome Day 2020 – Day 1
Get organised with Claire
Claire Mitchell is the Queensland representative of DSA’s Down Syndrome Advisory Network. She worked with campaign curator Leticia Hodson to develop the structure and focus of this year’s 21 stories.
I have always grown up within a family that is always organised and it is a part of my personality too. I like to take ownership of my life.
Many people I know tell me that I am organised, from family, work, friends and organisations that I belong to. It is very nice when people say things like, ‘You are so independent and inspiring’ and ‘You are always doing something’ and I know it is because of my personal organisation and background support that allows me to live a very fulfilling life. I really do think that my quality of life would be very empty without my being organised.
One of the things that mum and I do regularly is to have what we call a ‘Diary Meeting’ where we get together to discuss and plan what we are doing from week to week. This gives me the opportunity to be able to make my own decisions, arrange when I will need support e.g. transport and it encourages me to be as independent as I can.
At work I acknowledge the birthdays of the people I work with because I like to think of others and to write cards. I always remind others just in case they don’t remember, and they are glad that I do this. Now it is written in my personal development plan to keep check of the staff birthday list.
Claire and I are peas in a pod when it comes to our preference to be organised. In our family, it is Claire who is the one who is the ‘reminder’ especially around times, dates, events and most especially birthdays. Over time, Claire’s independence has grown and her ability to be organised has allowed her to do many things and have many opportunities, and the list continues to grow. The regular family diary meetings help us all to be on the same page and ensure that we do not double up in our plans – therefore creating a stress-free life for us all.
Our extended family certainly are inspired by Claire and have often commented, at times with envy of her skills and confidence. Her aunt quotes stories where, when out in the community it is Claire making the decisions and how at times this is to the surprise of those she is in an exchange with.
Like Claire, I too believe that her quality of life is enhanced by her ability to be organised in all she does, and I truly believe that Claire enriches all our family’s lives.