21 stories: Meet Benjamin Thomas; the athletic little funnyman

Benjamin Thomas 2Jen Thomas opens up about her Down syndrome experience with her lovely little three year old son: “Benjamin is a funny, athletic and caring little boy.  At the age of three, he has already given our family a new perspective on life. He finds joy in little things and has taught us to slow down, appreciate all of the world’s wonders and laugh with our whole bodies.

Ben was born to the Thomas family on January 3, 2013 at St. Michael’s Hospital.  We met a wonderful group of people through the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto and Circle21, where we learned about Ds and all the amazing things our children can do.  Benny spent his first year at Surrey Place, Silver Creek and fun-filled playgroups.

We moved to Milton in January 2014 and became a part of Halton Down Syndrome Association. We have been so fortunate to be a part of this community over the past two-and-a-half years, and we are grateful for the incredible support it has given us.  We have made lifelong friends through the organization and have loved watching Ben grow and learn with his amazing peers. The establishment of Have a Heart for Down Syndrome foundation continues to lay groundwork for a united community and lifetime support.

Benny beams with pride when he accomplishes new goals;  He has shown us that he can truly do whatever he sets his Benjamin Thomasmind to.  He works hard at Speech, Occupational and Physio therapies, as well as Oral Placement Therapy and Anat Baniel Method.  He’s recently discovered a love of bike riding, and playing sports, including baseball, golf and basketball.  Ben also loves animals and has an extra special place in his heart for dogs and “neigh neighs.”  To Benny, most problems can be solved with music and a bum wiggle, and he is the first one to step in with a hug when someone is upset.

Ben’s incredible strength and resilience shone through with his open-heart surgery when he was 20 months old.  He was laughing with the nurses and eager to get moving well before we had recovered from the ordeal!  He is extremely proud to be a new big brother and is already an amazing role model for his sister, Audrey.

Ben and his friends with Ds have truly shown us that every child is special and will not be defined by a diagnosis, but by the unique and amazing characteristics that make them THEM.”

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