|Today in ‘Time of Our Lives’ we had the pleasure of speaking with Aaron, father to William, who lives with Down syndrome. Joining the Down Syndrome Queensland community shortly after William was born, approximately nine years ago, Aaron has fully involved himself in a range of events and activities offered by DSQ for families such as his own. While Aaron travels a lot for work, he spends as much time as possible with William and his siblings when he is home, saying that no matter the activity, whether that be “kicking a footy, watching footy, swimming, going to the beach or just hanging out, there’s always happiness and smiles with William”.|
Aaron says that when William was born, he had very little awareness of Down syndrome. However, after joining DSQ, Aaron was able to connect with other families in similar situations while learning about the opportunities available for William as he grows. Aaron says that he’s “made friendships amongst a great and supportive community, and the social events are always fun”. Aaron is always the first to offer a hand when it comes to meeting and helping new families, sharing his advice and experience with others.
In his spare time, Aaron and William love to be outdoors or on the water. Aaron enjoys stand-up paddleboarding and will often take William to cruise on the front of the board. William is also a confident swimmer and loves being in the water, taking swimming lessons from six months of age. Aaron says that he is particularly proud of William’s hard work and dedication when it comes to sports, saying “I’m very proud of the effort he puts in…along with his cheeky determination!”
While the adjustments that come with Aaron working away for periods of time are a challenge when spending time with William, Aaron can confidently say he wouldn’t change anything for the world. When asked about advice for other fathers of children with Down syndrome, Aaron says “A child’s disability doesn’t affect their ability to love, learn and live a happy and inclusive life. William is challenged a lot, but at the same time encouraged by everyone around him, which in turn motivates William. We all learn from William as he learns from all of us, & I think that statement speaks for everyone who has Down syndrome. Encouragement and support is key…and there are never enough hugs to give or receive.”
We thank Aaron for his time with us and wish him the happiest of Father’s Days, as he truly deserves the day spent with loved ones. We also wish both him and William all the best for the future and look forward to hearing of their future endeavours.
For more information on how Down Syndrome Queensland can support your school contact one of our Education Consultants, (07) 3356 6655, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website https://www.downsyndrome.org.au/qld/
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