Amy posted HERE about her seeing a person with mental illness/disabilities at an affair.
I would like to touch briefly on the subject of my reactions to older people with Down syndrome. I have posted about it before, but right now I don't have time to search for it (some day I have to make a list of good old posts, but don't hold your breath....), AND its been a long time since then.
When Ricki was young, and I saw people with Down syndrome who were older, and NOT so high functioning, I would cringe. I am not proud to admit it, but I found it very hard to be positive about someone who was drooling, and with their tongue hanging out. Yes, G-d loves them, I realized in my MIND, but in my gut I was repulsed. (SORRY, but I am not going to white-wash this.)In my gut was the fear: Will Ricki be like that some day?
I always told myself "Well, Ricki's getting a better education, I am working with her behavior", etc. But deep down inside the fear was present. And sometimes, today, it still is. When Ricki, in an ornery mood, doesn't wipe a runny nose until I give her an ultimatum, I wonder what will be when I am not around. There are some things about taking care in dress that she seems to not want to be bothered with, and which I need to remind her everyday. And this just increases my fears.
So today, when I see a less-than-perfect looking adult with DS I try to view with compassion, yet the gut fear is still there.... and a determination to prevent such a future. Because MOST people are NOT going to look past her outside appearance. (If it’s hard for me to, what can I expect of people who DON’T have a talented, lovely daughter with Down syndrome??????).... So how she looks will effect how people react to her: Thus in effect, it colors her whole future.
For more of "31 for 21" (blogging in October for Down syndrome awareness)go HERE