Friday, October 21, 2011

Do you correct?

Ok, call me crabby, call me tired, call me whatever. But for some reason today I hit a brick wall when it came to peoples incredible knowledge of Down syndrome. I'm not perfect & I am by no means pretending to be. I had my own ideas of Down syndrome before I was forced to be educated about it. I get that people generally are not meaning to be offensive or negative & are usually just trying to strike up conversation when they grace me with their "knowledge" of Down syndrome. I get it. And I'm ok with answering people's questions about Jake. I really am.

I know, I know...get to the point. My point is think before you speak. Ok, probably not YOU, because most likely if you are reading my blog you have a child with Down syndrome and you are on the same boat. But does anyone else get SO frustrated & tired of peoples off handed/trying to complement your child but really slapping you in the face comments? I find myself (way to frequently) thinking...did you really just say that? And I will admit, I usually just smile & walk away because I am about the most non confrontational person on earth. I know, if I want the world to change the way people think about Down syndrome I need to speak up. So I will try...a little. Baby steps.

So, are you wondering what fantastic comment got me going on this blog it is (it's really not that bad) "They (people with Down syndrome) are ALWAYS happy". Wouldn't that be AWESOME? Ahh, would. I gave my stock response, "He has his moments". Want to compare some other spectacular comments I get or have gotten in the past (since I'm on a rant...these are the ones that I just look blankly at the person & walk away...because nobody is really this stupid):
"Well he's cute anyway" &
I can't believe I'm about to repeat this one, but I actually had someone say this to me when they asked me what was WRONG with my son...
I responded, "Nothing is wrong with him, he has Down syndrome". Her response back (brace yourself), "Oh well at least he's not autistic". REALLY?...REALLY?

I'm going to try harder to not let REALLY bad comments get to me as much & I am going to try to educate people (without sounding educational) when such comments are made. So here it is for today's comment:
Jake (and all people with Down syndrome) is human. He has good days, he has bad days. Like any other person, he is happy with a splash of crabby. He has more than one emotion. He has a attitude & a personality. He & I butt heads on a daily basis about something. He's not a little golden ray of sunshine 24/7. Like any other 3 year old, Jake wants what Jake wants. And he will find a way to tell you what he wants...& get it. Thankfully, Jake is a pretty happy go lucky kid. I got lucky there.

There is my rant...peace!


Becky said...

Okay, could not agree with your post more. I have written many posts about this because I get tired of the comments too. I try to educate, with patience, but sometimes people do not even get it when you try. Oh, it is so frustrating at times to me too. Great post...and I wish more people would read our posts who did not have children with Down syndrome because that might change their thinking...maybe. :)

Cindy said...

Wow, someone actually said, "At least he's not autistic?" Interesting.

I find most people get their views of Ds from the media. What they see on TV or read in magazines. I think they want to sound knowledgable, so that we don't feel so alone?? That maybe they DO understand?

But the thing is, they don't understand. In my personal situations, I don't think people have been intentinally cruel, just uneducated. They just don't get it. Not because they are stupid or mean, they just don't understand and they need to be taught.

I'm sorry you had to hear those words. But you're not alone in educating the world! We're in this with you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky,
(I tried to find a direct email address, but was unsuccessful! Pls feel free to delete this comment after you get it! I just wanted to reach out to you personally.) :)

I'm a book publicist promoting a new memoir about raising a child with Down syndrome.
I would love to send you a copy of the new book for you to consider for possible review. If you're interested, please email me ( and I'll drop a copy in the mail to you! Cheers, Laura

Recent book press: -

Andrea said...

Hello! It's been a while! I know what you mean about the back handed comments. Most of the time they roll of my back. However, there are those moments they either hurt or make me mad. You speak is the only way to educate. Hope you are well!