Sader Issa, who studies dentistry in Syria, shared the story of his life -how he was raised by his dad Jad who has Down Syndrome. He says that his father showered him with love and affection, and is a pillar in the community.
Scroll down to find out what they said in the interviews with Sader himself, as well as with the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), which is aware of Sader and his father’s story.
He is not ashamed of his father. In fact, he is a very proud son of a father who has helped to become the person with the right values that he is today. Nobody is saying that it is easy living with Down syndrome. However, Sader and his father have an incredible relationship that many will be envious about.
The father-son duo often goes to the father’s workplace at the mill near their home. “I’m proud of my father. Throughout my life he has been the greatest support for me when I needed it,” Sader said about his father who is loved by the community because they know that his love does not expect anything in return.
Sader talked about his father and family after bringing in to attention the fact that he is partly bound by a contract he signed with a production company called The Rascals, restricting what he can talk about.
“We wish all people were able to accept that being different is not something to be ashamed of. People with Down Syndrome are different but they have feelings, aspirations, a mind of their own, and they are capable of living a normal life when there is social acceptance and a society that is supportive,” Sader mused.
“Let us give them a chance and see what great capabilities they have,” he said about people with Down Syndrome. “According to NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society), only three cases have been recognized of fathers with DS and we are not one of these three cases. We wish that Bored Panda can help with getting this story formally recognized by international research organizations.”
The father Jad often tells people that he’s proud of Sader by saying “my son is a doctor.”
“It’s possible to see when his eyes are filled with joy and satisfaction as if to express: yes, I have Down syndrome, but I raised this man and did everything in my power to make him become a doctor and help others,” Sader explained.
It is not just the parents with Down syndrome that love the children. Researchers have studied parents who have children with Down syndrome and the conclusions are so heartwarming. According to one study done in 2012, 99 percent of the 2,044 respondents that participated in the study said that they love their children. 97 percent said that they were proud of them and 79 percent thought that their view on life was more positive thanks to the presence of them in their lives. Only 5 percent of parents were embarrassed by their kids and 4 percent regretted having them. This means that a remarkable majority of parents with Down Syndrome are happy to be raising their kids just the way they are.
The NDSC spoke about how Sader Issa’s story is unusual in the view that “it is actually quite rare for men with Down Syndrome to have children.” According to the National Down Syndrome Congress, this often has nothing to do with males being sterile, but with their “lack of knowledge” about reproduction.
“Women with Down Syndrome are able to get pregnant, but it does not happen often.”
The NDSC explained about Down Syndrome and those it affects: “People with Down Syndrome are more alike their typical peers than they are different. They take longer to reach milestones when they are young, but they reach them! They have feelings and emotions and they want to be treated with respect.”
“People with DS are living great lives!” the NDSC explained, with regard to how things have changed over the years. “The life expectancy for people with DS has increased from age 25 as recently as the 1980s to being 60 now. People gain meaningful employment and live independently, with many attending college and some getting married.”
In a video interview, Sader Issa told the Syrian Society for Social Development all about being raised by his dad who has Down Syndrome.