When Ella was born many people that I encountered that had heard of her birth would either a.) start crying in front of me as if I had given birth the the most devastating scenario possible or b.) tell me of a person they knew or had known with Down Syndrome as if their unresolved conclusions about DS would help me in some way. I actually preferred that to the former but it was always a little awkward and really, when you think about it, not really for me. Because what would it matter to me what they thought of this individual with DS? “Oh, I worked with a girl whose brother had Down Syndrome…he was kind.” “Did you know Harold? He was just the nicest person.” And on and on it went.
I think it is safe to say that most people have a certain unrest when it comes to how to interact with a individual with Down Syndrome. I even find myself uncomfortable at times (not with Ella so much but older individuals). But the feeling is quite unique to DS because everyone knows that more often than not people with DS, though different, are kind. Think about it…its a little odd. Why do we do this? We do we put assumptions on something we know nothing about? I came across this blog today…He starts out:
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