“Cheer of Down syndrome" campaign
Ricki can occasionally be open and talkative when meeting new people on the bus (buses here are social, see my post “Buses in Israel from Tuesday). Other times she may stick out her tongue! (Actually, she no longer sticks out her tongue--we've been working on that!)
I guess the difference is the "Vibes" she sees. The problem is, little kids, not realizing WHY she looks different, have a tendency to stare. Then she stares back, scowls, and growls, and scares them completely. So much for our "spreading the Cheer of Down syndrome" campaign!
She also likes to coo at babies on the bus. Some mothers handle this very well, and others don’t (especially if two minutes ago she scowled at their toddler!).
In Defense of Chareidi Education
In the latest group of psychometric exams in Israel, the ultra –Orthodox (chareidi) students taking an ultra-orthodox course to prepare them properly did better than the national average. This was despite learning English from scratch.
These figures are a support for the ultra-Orthodox approach of teaching mainly religious subjects through high school, along with the 3 R’s and a bit of science,. It has been shown that those students who do want to continue on to learn a profession are able to make up the lost material very quickly, because they have learned to STUDY in yeshiva.
While there are, in my mind, things that can be improved in our school system, these figures should be a relief for grandparents who are afraid that their chareidi grandchildren will not have the ability to study and learn a profession later in life. And the advantages of chareidi education: a very low rate of drug use, no violence, no teen pregnancies, and respect for elders---- are implicit and attainable.
Calling All Researchers!-The Catsup Connection
Anyone want to do an interesting piece of research on Down syndrome? If you do, so try and discover the link between the 21st chromosome and catsup. I’m not kidding. I am positive that there must be a connection.
I have spoken to several parents, and have yet to hear of a child with DS who doesn’t love catsup. In fact, it is high and noticed very often on the list of “favorite foods”. Ricki doesn’t particularly like sweets—but put catsup on a food and she’ll eat about anything.
Now, I can hear you countering: “But ALL my kids like catsup.” Yes, I know. But they also like peanut butter, white cream cheese, tuna and salmon spread. Ricki (and many other children with Down syndrome) want ONLY catsup on their bread. Believe me, I keep trying to indoctrinate her taste buds with low-fat cream cheese….. but it’s:
“Catsup, catsup, we scream for catsup!.”