Meet Spencer Watts
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and our local Buddy Walk is the 16th in Gulfport.
As a way to promote acceptance and inclusion, every Thursday here on WXXV we share the story of children in our area with Down Syndrome. This week you get to meet Spencer Watts.
“I don’t really know that he knows that he’s different.” There’s never a dull moment for Spencer Watts and his family as this little ball of energy loves to play with his trucks and explore. “He has the basic form of Down Syndrome, t21. Luckily, no heart issues. Just a stomach issue that they’ve fixed at ten days old and he’s been happy and healthy ever since.”
His mother, Brittany, notes that Spencer’s presence lights up any room just like he did to their family. “Of course, when we got the initial diagnosis, all the plans that we hoped for have gone out of the window, but it’s been better than we could have ever dreamed of.”
Spencer’s little brother, Scully, had Down Syndrome. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after being born. “They saw issues with the heart and it had a 50/50 shot of resolving on its own, but it didn’t.”
Following Scully’s birth, Brittany got a tattoo honoring her two boys. “I have the lucky few, the three arrows that represent the 21st chromosome, and how we rise up and move forward with every challenge that we’re faced with.”
It takes a village in raising Spencer and Brittany emphasizes that she couldn’t do it without the help of her family, friends, and others in their community. One way for the Watts family to network with other families like theirs is by attending their local Buddy Walk. “We get to meet with other parents and we get to talk about our experiences. We get to talk about our experiences, what are similar and different. You know everyone’s different.”
Because there’s nothing like connecting with others who understand what it’s like to raise children with a condition like Spencer. “He tests my patience every day and I have to ask God for patience for him because he’s very independent, strong willed, and if he doesn’t want to do it, he’s not going to.”