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Washington mom shares open letter about supporting kids with Down syndrome

A first-grade teacher at Mountain Way Elementary wants to make sure people look at children with Down syndrome for who they are, and not just a diagnosis.

A first-grade teacher at Mountain Way Elementary teaches her students life lessons and makes kindness a part of her daily curriculum.

"It's a good way to introduce differently-abled children and the importance of showing kindness toward them," Corissa Welch said.

Welch recently wrote an open letter on Facebook about her 10-month-old daughter with Down syndrome asking fellow teachers to be careful about labeling kids. She believes when kids are labeled it can keep them from reaching their full potential.

"I've done it myself for either a diagnosis or a circumstance, and you're really failing that child when you do that,” Welch said.

Welch said her daughter Hudson inspired her to write the post and speak openly to educators about how to best teach children with Down syndrome. 

She said students with Down syndrome should be pushed and challenged just like everybody else, and that they have value as precious as a baby's smile.

Also see | Federal Way family spreads positive messages to raise awareness for Down syndrome

"They don't look at the world the way the rest of us do. There's a certain quality to them that's worth celebrating. They're just fantastic people,” said Welch.

In a few years, Hudson will likely be going to school at Mountain Way. Welch wants to make sure people look at her for the girl she is and not just a diagnosis.

"In a perfect world that's the way it would be," said Carissa. "Differences would be celebrated. That's my hope, for sure."

Read her letter here