I was interviewed by the press here the day before yesterday. No kidding; I really was. No, I have not gotten started with Israeli politics. I am accused of child abuse.
No, I did not spank Ricki in the parking area of the supper market. What I did was to allow plastic surgery on Ricki at age 1 year. This, the English press calls child abuse. And the attitude towards plastic surgery on several boards for DS tends to be very negative. The slant is that parents only do the surgery for their own advantage, from embarrassment, thus teaching their child self-hatred.
Well, I would like to tell a bit about the other side of the story.
I knew very well that the surgery would not make her look "normal". It only makes her look like she is less affected. So why do it at all?
First of all, it was highly recommended to us by Feurstein center, one of the big centers for treatment of children with Down syndrome in Israel. (They recommend it for the reasons given below.)
I knew already by that time that we wanted to go the route of inclusion, and I understood three important things:1- as much as I would like people to react to HER, they will react to her looks. It is a fact of life.2- I wanted her teachers to have higher expectations3- I did not want other children to react as negatively to her as they would without her having the surgery.We have been very pleased with the results. I have NO DOUBTS that this has eased the process of her inclusion.It had NOTHING to do with our not accepting her.It had NOTHING to do with our (G-d forbid) not loving her.We paid a mint in order to ensure a top-notch surgeon. It was totally for our own child's eventual welfare.
We purposely did it when she was young, at an age, true, where she can not give consent, yet also an age where she will not remember the surgery. Thus the argument that it will lower her self esteem would not apply here. If she needs a “touch-up” at age 20 plus, I would only do it if she asked us to do it. Would anyone accuse a parent who did plastic surgery on a “normal” child, for removal of a feature that causes them to be stared at, of child abuse? Or perhaps you would assume that they love their child and had good reason?!!!???? No, I suspect not
. And PS... she still gets looked at and judged by her looks... and I explain to her that it is part of having DS., that she will have to learn to deal with other people's stupidities