A Spanish friend of mine told me when I was pregnant to look up Pablo Pineda, a writer, actor and lecturer with Down's Syndrome, as she found him inspirational. This was before I knew that I would have a child with Down's Syndrome myself.
I remembered this over the past couple of weeks and again watched a video of him on YouTube. Pablo Pineda was the first student with Down's Syndrome in Europe to obtain a university degree. He said he expected this of himself as this is what his siblings did. I can't find the exact video again that I watched, as there are quite a few of him, so I am misquoting him, but in it he said, "our parents should expect more of us, and we should expect more of ourselves". This stuck with me and I quote it to everyone. I love this quote. I read that he said, "your parents have to teach you, and encourage you. After that, you can do anything.” I know that we will do just that, and we will also be guided by Coraline as an individual, responding to her, so that she becomes all that she can be. Above all, the main thing we wish for her is that she is happy, feels our deep love for her and for each other behind her everyday, and that she loves herself.
I told my friend I had watched Pablo Pineda's videos on YouTube recently and she said, "Pablo is so amazing that even 'language' has changed in Spain because of him; did you know that we do not say special needs anymore? We say different abilities."