Caterina Scorsone Honors Daughter Pippa, 3, in Powerful Essay About Down Syndrome Advocacy
Caterina Scorsone is speaking on the importance of equity for every child.
In a heartfelt personal essay for Good Morning America, the Grey's Anatomy star, 39, opened up about her 3-year-old daughter Paloma "Pippa" Michaela while explaining why Down syndrome advocacy is important to her, in time for October's Down syndrome awareness month.
"Pippa has Down syndrome. But Pippa isn't Down syndrome. Pippa is Pippa," Scorsone wrote, later adding, "Pippa is different. So are you and so am I."
"She has a visual learning profile that makes it easier for her to learn from pictures and printed words than from hearing a teacher lecture," the mom of three explained. "She could read simple words at 3 years old but took longer than her sister to be able to talk because of differences in her oral motor planning and muscle tone. ... She is small for her age but her eyes are wise. She always says what she means and doesn't suffer fools."
Scorsone added that Pippa "has needs that are specific to the way her body was made," but pointed out that every human being also has individualistic necessities to thrive in life.
"For Pippa to accomplish what she chooses to accomplish, to thrive and fulfill the desires she has for herself, she needs to be supported in specific ways. So do I," wrote Scorsone.
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Scorsone elaborated that she prefers the term "equity" to "equality" when supporting her daughter's rights in meeting her specific needs. "Equity embraces our differences. Equality sometimes accidentally erases them and in so doing, creates disadvantage and inequality for a great many people," she said.
"To have the same opportunities for fulfillment that I have, Pippa needs things like therapies designed to support her learning differences and physical challenges," wrote Scorsone. "She needs more media visibility for people who look like her, so that people recognize her as part of their community, and so she can recognize herself in the aspirational characters she sees on TV and in the press."
"When she's older, she'll need support with some of her life skills (like a lot of us do), and with finding a job that's the perfect fit for her skills and talents. She'll need some supports to get an equal shot at life," the actress added. "She'll need equity."
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"Regardless of the number of chromosomes or abilities we have, the gender we express, the money in our bank account, the color of our skin or the learning profile we respond to best, human beings have the same needs. We need love, safety, dignity and connection," Scorsone wrote near the conclusion of her piece.
"But human beings are different, we are specific, and we need to be loved and supported individually," she added.
In April 2019, Scorsone opened up to PEOPLE about parenting, saying that "one thing that changes when you have kids is that nothing is in your control anymore."
She added at the time, "You have to roll with whatever is happening and there are people that are now in your life very intimately and in your space who have distinctly different personalities from you.”