Don't see Down's syndrome, see the person

My name is Natasha Connon, I am 27 years old. This year I was involved in a very exciting project with Down's Syndrome Scotland. As part of their awareness week they wanted to create a television advertto raise awareness about Down's syndrome to the general public. They asked me to star in their advert.

Filming of the Down's Syndrome Scotland advert as part of their Awareness Week

Being part of the filming was amazing. I really enjoyed everything about it. The day that we did the filming I had to get up at 6am to get ready and get the train to Edinburgh. It was a long day but lots of fun.

There were lots of different scenes to film, which were filmed in lots of different locations. On another day I went back through to record my voiceover. This was quite difficult as I had to get every line exactly right.It was really exciting getting to see what goes on behind the scenes of making an advert.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

The advert shows snippets of a life of someone who isn’t revealed to the viewer until the end. The whole message behind the advert is that people with Down’s syndrome live normal lives, just like anyone else.

Natasha Connon

One of the main themes in the advert is relationships, not just romantic relationships but also friendships and family.

I live at home with my Mum and Dad in Cumbernauld. During the week I meet up with my friends, we like going to the local disco as well as meeting for a coffee. I also have a boyfriend. I am hoping to move in with him in early May.

People often think that people with Down’s syndrome can’t work. I used to work in an office when I lived in Edinburgh. But now I work four days a week at Monklands Hospital in the Royal Voluntary Service tea room.

I also work at a café in Cornerstone in Cumbernauld one afternoon a week. I love working in the cafes, the people are always friendly and helpful.

Natasha Connon

Another myth that people often believe is that people with Down’s syndrome are always happy. This isn’t true, people with Down’s syndrome experience the same range of emotions as anyone else. In the advert we showedme laughing in the park with my friend and then me crying on the stairs.

I think it is important that people see people with Down’s syndrome as being just like them.

Down’s syndrome is a part of me the same way that having brown hair is a part of me. It has always been a part of me and always will be. The point of the advert is that people with Down’s syndrome are just the same as everyone else. It encourages people to see past Down’s syndrome and see the person.

I think it is important to raise awareness of Down’s syndrome and what it means to have Down’s syndrome. Lots of people underestimate me because I have Down’s syndrome but I am no different to anyone else.

So have you got it in you to see past my Down’s syndrome?

Natasha Connon, member of Down’s Syndrome Scotland. Down’s syndrome Awareness Week runs from 20-26th March. Please support Down’s Syndrome Scotland by visiting the website, www.dsscotland.org.uk