Personal Stories
Debbie Chandler

I was born on November the fourth in the year of 1960 in
Brownsville, Texas. My mother had told me that I was the
only white baby in the hospital. I guess most of the babies
were hispanic. A nurse even brought the wrong baby to my
mother! My mother was twenty five. She didn't notice anything
different in me. She said I was slow in developing and I did
everything at a much slower speed. I was born also with
nystagmus, stribismus and I am nearsighted. She started
her search in finding out what my problem could be. I did not
have any health problems. She said I walked at sixteen months.

When my mother and father found out I had the Mosaic Down syndrome I was four years old. They were obviously concerned but they had the idea that I had potential and that did not keep them from helping me as I started school. Their belief in me never wavered as I struggled in school.

Even when I was frustrated in my school work they always told me I could do it. They helped me so much! I honestly don't know what I would have done without them.

I was almost fully included in most of my classes in Middle School and High School. I graduated with my peers in 1980. I was nineteen.

I have had problems dealing with having Mosaic Down syndrome in the past. I just didn't understand very much about it and was angry for a time. It took me a while to figure out that this may be what I have but there is so much more in me than just having the Mosaic Down syndrome. I am a person first and above all and that my identity is separate from it. I am a poet, writer, non-conformist, bird/nature person and artist.