WHEN DOWN IS UP: Life with a Down Syndrome son


Melba Wilkat 

Editions:Hardcover: $ 23.95
ISBN: 0595670792
Pages: 164
Paperback: $ 13.95
ISBN: 0595342280
Pages: 164

When Down is Up is the story of John Albert Wilkat, a courageous young man with Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.


He never wanted people to see him as different, even though he did realize, to some extent, that he was. He always wanted to be accepted as “one of the crowd.” It was when people were talking about him saying, “John has Down Syndrome,” that he would always correct them saying, “I’m not Down Syndrome. I’m UP SYNDROME.” And “Up Syndrome” he was, in so very many ways.

From John you could learn that the world is a place of many different people. It is a world where sometimes things are not as they seem, a world where brother turns on brother, and a world where sometimes the smallest gesture can mean everything to another person.

John was a loving, giving, funny, joyful and, for the most part, happy person who was dealt a hand in life that most of us could never imagine. He made the very best of the situation, and John was truly an “UP SYNDROME” young man.

Author Melba Heim Wilkat shares the story of her son’s heartbreaking birth, the joys and trials of raising him, and the deafening silence as the door of his life closed.

Reviews: Fred on Amazon wrote:

I remember this young man as my sister Ronda Epstein was a fellow student at Seagul School in Fort Lauderdale. Both he and my sister, who passed in July 2017, dealt with a life that I for one would never have had the courage to cope with. They and others like them are real heroes. This book is truly beautiful, and makes me ashamed of myself for thinking I have any REAL problems in life. A must read.

Alicia on Goodreads wrote:

A touching story from a mothers point of view of her son with Down Syndrome....particularly touching for me because I have 3 students with this diagnosis. A very quick read.

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