Alabama mother of Down syndrome child inspired by YouTube videocomment (0)
October 18, 2013
"When I was really little, doctors told my mom that I would be special needs," explains 14-year-old Savannah Grace, whose YouTube video has lots of people talking. "They said I would be autistic."
Jenifer Parris, mom to 1-year-old Neely who was born with Down syndrome, loved Savannah's YouTube video with a twist of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” (watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE4gzC9HJzk). Parris, of Jacksonville, was quick to share the video with all her Facebook friends. "I've learned so much about children with special needs since I had one of my own," Jennifer Parris shared. "And with Down syndrome, it's just an extra chromosome. It's just that one difference between my daughter and anyone else."
Jenifer Parris hopes that videos like Savannah's will help people see kids with special needs the way that God sees them. "They should be allowed to try things and find out just how far they can go," she said. "I saw that cheer team and I thought about how my daughter might be able to do something like that one day. Maybe looking at what's really brave will help people stop and think."
Ginger Moore, Savannah's mom, agrees. "I knew what Savannah was thinking when she first read the lyrics to these songs. We've always loved watching the special needs cheer team practice. They are so good! They are the picture of overcoming."
And Savannah, a member of Parkway Baptist Church, Goodlettsville, Tenn., is too. Moore knew something was different about her baby, despite getting a constant brush-off from pediatricians as a high-maintenance new mom. Conducting her own investigation through research on Google and visits to every possible parent support group, she finally got Savannah the help she needed.
At the age of 2, Savannah was diagnosed with SPD, a dysfunction of the brain in which sensory signals from the body (vision, auditory, touch, olfaction and taste) are not processed normally. Early intervention is the answer to conquering and controlling SPD. "It was a long, hard road, but we have no regrets," Moore said. "God used those days to prepare our hearts for foster care and adoption. He actually used it to build our family, to show us how to care for children here at home as well as globally."