Saturday, December 6, 2008


I’m always pushing how much the same my daughter can be in comparison with other people. Yes, there are a lot of similarities, but there are differences, too. For example, I recently watched a news clip online featuring a girl with DS who was an artist. Shown with her was a happy, innocent, childlike painting that she had done. (Her paintings have sold. Some go for $500). She spoke well, with diction and clarity. She was excited to tell us about her painting.

But there was no denying that she was different. She looked different, acted differently, and spoke differently. It made me sad. For all my encouraging and persistence in telling anyone who’ll listen that people with DS are the same as you and me, it’s just not true, not really. They ARE different. They can be artists, athletes, speakers, teachers, clerks, musicians, bowlers, weight loss success stories, husbands and wives, actors, business owners, drivers, dancers, and students, but all of these achievements are done in a different fashion.

Some need much more support then others to succeed. A few can do it without help, but not many, I fear.
I’m not sure why I’m feeling down about this today.

Because someone looks and acts differently doesn’t mean anything. People succeed with the support of others in all genres, all ages, all races and genders. People need people. And because someone’s IQ isn’t as high as mine or yours shouldn’t mean that person is of lower value. Because someone looks different shouldn’t mean that person is to be shunned. Because someone needs extra help shouldn’t mean help should not be given.

Intellectually, I know all this. Most of the time, my heart and my head agree. But today, I’m feeling the burden. I’m feeling the heaviness of the unknowns ahead. I’m feeling scared that people won’t know how special my daughter is. I hope so much for her! I hope she has a good life. Not only a happy life, but a contributatory and fulfilling life as well.

Maybe I just need a nap.


Shelli said...

I don't think it's just that I love Madison that makes me say this, but I think she is even more beautiful because she is different. For every person who turns away from her because she's different, there are a dozen who are drawn to her for the same reason. She is such a fun, spunky, loving, wonderful girl! And all that shines through in her smile. I think it is your mama bear protective instincts that are coming out. The truth is that she'll face meanness and ugliness in the world -- but we all do, and it won't be because of her Down syndrome when it happens.

Nikki~Down syndrome Storyteller said...

Thanks, Shelli. You are a wise woman and I'm honored to call you my friend. You are right, of course. There's just some days when that doubt creeps in. And Madison loves you right back! (and me too!)

Joan said...

I found you through Krazy Eights page - our youngest son, Mick, (5) has Down Syndrome. I wouldn't change a thing about him! So nice to read about someone else's experiences. I hope you don't mind that I've added your blog to those I follow.

Nikki~Down syndrome Storyteller said...

Hi Joan, and thanks. Your family sounds wonderful. I love Kelli's blog, too. We knew each other way back when she had only 2 kids! Give Mick a great big hug for me!