Somewhere she’s accepted for who she is, not what she is
People are always putting Chloe in a category. Yes, she has Down’s syndrome but she’s also an ordinary 20-year-old. She can be lovely and cuddly but she’s no teddy bear! Like everyone else her age she has a temper and she likes to slam a door!
Chloe loves what most 20-year-olds love. Music, dancing, hair, makeup and dressing up. She’s a real rock chick. She is a young woman and she would love to go somewhere she could feel free. Somewhere she’s accepted for who she is, not what she is. She’d love to go to a disco where she could dance the night away, meet people of her own age, to be safe and looked after. But there’s nothing like that.
There are groups for little ones and for older generations but nothing for young adults. Something for the 18-30s age group is really needed. I know she would be welcomed at the older groups, but like any young person, she’d take a look around and want to be out of there! Young people need to be around other young people.
Chloe can walk and talk but she can’t walk far so she needs a wheelchair. The main challenge though is that Chloe has no concept of danger. She needs to be watched by an adult all of the time and everywhere we go I am on high alert, checking if all safety measures are in place. That means there are obviously issues when it comes to Chloe taking part in activities such as swimming and going anywhere new. If things aren’t 100% safe I’m constantly stressed and everyone else picks up on that and it spoils things. It’s horrible to have to say no when you’re on holiday because you’re worried about safety.
But if safety issues were already considered by a holiday provider then things would be so much different. Knowing Chloe cannot escape from the accommodation, that she won’t slip in the shower and that there are things for her to enjoy without any risks would mean we could relax a little bit too. A dream break would be accessible and private accommodation with a hot tub with a hoist so the whole family could enjoy it together and Chloe could benefit from the water therapy. Somewhere with some games, we could play together and maybe a park nearby. To go somewhere where everyone is equal would be perfect.
As told by Chloe’s mum Gail