14 Short Poems About Down Syndrome

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You can find quite a few amateur poems written about Down syndrome, but this isn’t a subject written about in many poetry anthologies. We scoured through dozens of poems on this topic to uncover several that you may enjoy.

Jump ahead to these sections:

Looking for a funeral poem about Down syndrome? You may also find an appropriate poem on other lists of famous funeral poems

If you want a poem to celebrate a family member or friend, we have included poems like this as well. We hope you find one that works for your situation.

Poems About Down Syndrome for a Funeral or Memorial Service

You don’t have to read a sad poem at your loved one’s funeral. You can choose a piece that will make people smile. Your special friend may have been a ray of sunshine in many people’s lives. 

1. “They said on his first day on earth” by Unknown

This untitled poem begins with this stanza:

“They said on his first day on earth,
Better far if he’d died at birth.
How could they know.
How could they tell the joy he’d bring,
He taught our hearts the way to sing,
We loved him so.”

This poem mentions the heartache that sometimes accompanies raising a special needs child. It doesn’t specifically mention death or the afterlife, but it would work for a funeral since most of it is written in the past tense.

2. “A Reason” by Unknown

This poem reads like a eulogy and would be a perfect text to use at the funeral of your loved one. The complete poem reads:

“Some people come into your life for a reason,
They are there to assist, to give guidance and support.
They might aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually,
They are there for a reason.

Some people come into your life for a season,
They bring experience of peace or make you laugh.
They teach you something you have never known,
They give you joy but only for a season.

(Name’s) reason for his/her season
Was to give us love, understanding, and hope
But only for a season.”

ยป MORE: After a loss, you're never alone. Get the help you need with this planning checklist.

 

Uplifting Poems About Down Syndrome

Most of the poems we found about Down syndrome were very uplifting. Do not shy away from choosing a happy poem for your loved one’s funeral. In fact, use one of these happy poems to comfort those in emotional pain at the service. 

3. “Special” by Marla Murasko

“Although my needs may be special” is repeated throughout the text of this poem. This poem was written by the mother of a child with Down syndrome, who fully understands her child’s particular needs. The poem is uplifting because it gives a list of how a child with Downs syndrome is similar to a typical child. 

4. “Down Syndrome” by Unknown

This poem was written in the voice of someone who has Down syndrome. It is written from a Christian perspective, and even though death or the afterlife is not mentioned, it could be used during a funeral service.

To help you find the full text online, here is a section from the middle of the poem:

“I was sent here among you
To teach you to love
As God in heavens
Looks down from above
To him, I’m no different
His love knows no bounds.”

5. “I Know a Special Little Boy” by Unknown

The family member of a boy with Down syndrome wrote a poem that she used to educate others about the condition.

The poem includes the stanza:

“There was something about chromosomes,
Whatever they may be!
Instead of having forty-six,
He has an extra one, you see.”

6. “Heaven’s Very Special Child” by Unknown

“Heaven’s Very Special Child” describes the story of angels in heaven trying to pick the exact right parents for a “very special child.” As they are discussing the situation, the angels say:

“His progress may be very slow,
Accomplishments he may not show.
And he’ll require extra care
From the folks he meets down there.”

You may consider giving a copy of this poem to new parents of a Down syndrome child.

7. “I Dreamed” by Amy W. Opalk

A parent of a Down syndrome child wrote this moving poem about what she wished for her unborn child. She wants a healthy, beautiful, bright, and funny child who has birthday parties with friends, rides a bus to kindergarten, and tells his mother he loves her every day. Only at the end of the poem does the reader uncover that the parent got the child of her dreams, and that child happens to have Down syndrome.

8. “Insights” by Mary Wilt

We like how the speaker in this heartfelt poem gave an honest account of her feelings when she discovered her child had special needs. Many of the other pieces don’t include these initial emotions that many parents may have experienced.

The speaker discloses that the relationship with her child has enhanced her life.

“Through warm, healing tears I’ve watched as you’ve grown,
And the strength of your spirit 
Has sheltered my own.”

9. “Two Words” by Cheryl Ward

The “two words” in this poem are “Down syndrome.” These were the words whispered when the author’s child was two days old. The speaker goes on to say: 

“Those words did not tell us
Of the love you would bring
Or the power your smile has
To make our hearts sing.”

10. “Sometimes Miracles Hide” by Bruce Carroll

In this poem, the parents discover that their child has Down syndrome while the baby is still in utero. According to the poem’s text, the doctor asks the couple to decide “what to do” with the pregnancy. 

One stanza is repeated several times through the text of the poem:

“Sometimes miracles hide
And God will wrap some blessings in disguise.
You may have to wait this lifetime
To see the reasons with your eyes.
’Cause sometimes miracles hide.”

Sad Poems About Living With Down Syndrome

Most of the poems we found about Down syndrome are uplifting, at least in part. Here are a few that speak to the difficulty of raising a special needs child. 

11. “Don’t Laugh at Me” by Mark Wills

Country singer Mark Wills wrote this song about treating people kindly, regardless of their differences. Down syndrome isn’t explicitly mentioned in the lyrics of this song, but the chorus may ring true with your situation:

“Don’t laugh at me, don’t call me names.
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain.
In God’s eyes, we’re all the same.
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings.”

12. "Heaven’s Blessing” by Kirt Blackburn

One of the great things about looking through websites of amateur poetry is that you sometimes come across a piece that is so full of emotion that you know it is written from the heart. This poem is accompanied by a photo of a baby who passes away after struggling for survival after he was born.

13. “My Own Special Angel” by Norma Henneke

A mother reflects on the sometimes difficult life of her daughter, Misty, in this poem. She talks about her daughter’s struggles and the frustration of having other children make fun of her daughter. 

Even though the beginning of the poem is sad in tone, the end sends a positive message to the world.

“Yes, sometimes it hurts, and I don’t understand
How God could have done this as part of his plan.
Yet each time I hold you, or we kiss goodnight, 
I know in my heart he did everything right!” 

14. “Surprised by Joy” by William Wordsworth

Some scholars believe that William Wordsworth's daughter had Down syndrome. The descriptions the poet wrote about his daughter, and the fact that she died early in life point to that evidence. 

According to scholars, he wrote “Surprised by Joy” after the death of his daughter when he thinks, for a moment, that he sees his child. 

Tap into Other Available Resources

If you have the painful task of choosing a poem for a funeral, you can find plenty of resources available, especially through this blog. You can search for poems about the death of a child or one that focuses on grief. You may also want a list of songs about emotional pain to help you learn to live with grief.

We hope that you find some verses to help you celebrate the special person in your life. You may want to use these as gifts to new parents, as resources to educate the peers of your special needs child, or as inspiration as you go through a bumpy patch in your own parenting experience.


Sources:
  1. Lindop, Grevel. “Did Wordsworth’s Daughter Have Down’s Syndrome?” https://grevel.co.uk/andanotherthing/catherine-wordsworth-a-romantic-poets-downs-baby/
  2. “Poems.” The Ups of Downs. http://www.littleangels.gbr.cc

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