Model Amanda Booth on Raising a Son with Down Syndrome: 'I Need People to See Him for Who He Is'
“When Micah was born, there were so many complications and doubts, but it was in those moments that I discovered his strength; and he taught me to see mine,” the model, 30, writes in a story for Harper’s Bazaar. “I still know very little about Down syndrome, really, but I know a lot about Micah.”
Booth was told Micah likely had Down syndrome right when he was born because of his slanted eyes, but she didn’t find out definitively until three months later when she decided to have him tested.
“A few months after settling into our new roles as parents to a child with special needs, we started our social media outreach,” says Booth. “I wasn’t scared of the reactions people would have — sharing our story wasn’t for them, but for the people who needed it, and I knew they’d find us.”
“That didn’t mean my stomach didn’t flip with the first trolls I encountered,” she continues. “I wept for my son, but I am fully aware of the battles he may face, and it just brought that reality to my doorstep a little sooner than I had anticipated.”
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Booth says the early exposure to negativity will help her prepare Micah to rise above it.
“I can know how to raise him to be greater than that — to walk this earth with a full heart, having compassion for people who don’t understand him, and the courage to show them anyway,” she says.
Booth hopes other people will eventually be able to see Micah for the person he is, and not for his Down syndrome.
“Micah is different, but not in the way you’d think,” she says. “His spirit radiates through a room, and everyone else feels it, too. There is so much darkness in this world, I know people need to be reminded of the good. Micah is the good.”
“I need people to see him for who he is,” she continues. “I need them to recognize his ability, and to allow themselves to give him the opportunity to succeed. I am so thankful to be living in our modern, accepting society, [but] with that being said, we still have a far way to go.”