Saturday, October 11, 2008

I don't know about anyone else.
Do you ever get sick of these photo montages of kids with Down syndrome?
They are almost always of babies and young children (rarely with adults or teens--)and often terribly long. An overkill. Which is why I liked the "R word-respect" blurb; it had adults, and also was short and to the point),

I mean, I suppose new parents need this, but I do not believe in deifying kids with Down syndrome. They are PEOPLE (and sometimes ornery ones, at that!).....

I suspect that those who worship them as "little angels" don't always see their individuality. If you say "Children like these are always loving....", you are not treating them as PEOPLE.


datri said...

Personally, the whole rosy Down syndrome picture that awareness organizations paint irritates me. They love to trot out the "DS Superstars". So, what does that say about the people who are not and will never be "high functioning" as they say.

I understand they feel they must go overboard because of the high termination rate. But it's not based in reality and marginalizes those who are not "more alike than different." Everybody is different.

Jennifer said...

I'm also bothered by the super-happy montages. However, I do tend to look at all the positive things Aidan can do instead of focusing on his deficits. Every time we have an IEP meeting or something along those lines I leave feeling really depressed after focusing on everything he is delayed in. I usually go home to that sweet face, get a big hug, and remember that he is just a kid who is a little behind, and that doesn't change how much I love him. Also, I have 3 nephews close in age, and they all have different strengths and weaknesses. It makes me realize that this is also true of kids with Down syndrome. I think as parents, mostly we want people to value our children because of who they are, not because of a checklist of things they can or can't do.

Sorry for the rambling. It's hard to put this all in words.

Anonymous said...

I have never been a fan of sweet and sappy anything, so I know what you mean.

BTW, I tagged you if you are interested in playing along.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Yes, I realize mine was long, and I posted your comment in my latest Q&A. It was as long as it was to get the whole alphabet out and the fact that I had a HUGE response to my call for pictures. Unfortunately most of those who answered that call were parents of very young children. I would have been MORE than happy to include more older children and adults. The pictures that I DID get I included several times.
I also put in there that they are all different, that they are not always happy, that they ARE indeed PEOPLE. The point of my montage was to get awareness out, to make people SEE that Down syndrome is not a scary thing. I did the best that I could with the resources that I had at the time. I'm sorry it upset you so much.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

OK :) I must be a little oversensitive tonight. I was just thinking about my montage, and I know it IS long and one day I really want to redo it with updated pictures since that one was made a few years ago so hopefully I WILL get a bunch of older kids involved. :)

My biggest pet peeve? "They're SO happy!!!" I always reply and say, "Yeah, Sometimes." HA! Something tells me the puberty years are going to be extra fun with her!

Anyway, glad I didn't upset you, I just thought WOW was it REALLY that bad?! LOL

Bas~Melech said...

I agree that many people should take a reality check. Life is not black-and-white. A person with DS can't be described simply as "cheerful" or "slow" -- just like anyone else wouldn't want to be classified by one aspect of their personality (or, worse, a stereotype)

Jen said...

right on!

...from a mother of one of the ornery ones

Ann of the Incredible Gift said...

Right. Individuals with Down syndrome are individuals first.

My daughter is a good example. She was more like her sisters, in my opinion, than she was like her friends and classmates who also had an extra chromosome.

But just look at those sisters - Four girls with four different personalities!

She could be happy, sad, angry, cranky, contrary, serious, humorous... just like all us other human beings. Not an angel, but human.