Photo project celebrates special needs


When Holly Simon gave birth to her youngest child, the reaction of doctors and nurses in the delivery room was the opposite of the joyous reception that had greeted her four older children.

“The room went dark. They dropped their eyes. They wouldn’t make eye contact,” recalled Simon of Chicago, who screamed out at them, wondering if her child was dead.

Instead, she learned that her son, Nathaniel, now 11, was born with Down’s syndrome.

That sad reception was not OK with Simon who, two years ago, founded I Am Who I Am, a nonprofit that is dedicated to making people more aware of how they treat all children including those with special needs.

Nathaniel was not born at Adventist Hinsdale. But Simon is working with the hospital and others to make sure that all children, even those with special needs, are welcomed happily into the world.

“We’ve begun with trying to erase the sorrys in the delivery room by educating nurses and doctors, family and friends,” she said. “The first thing parents need to hear is ‘Congratulations,’ not ‘I’m sorry.'”

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More to come about the adventure with the Simons….