Friday, 5 October 2012

Heavy Going

I'm so thankful for this face!
I did something today which I usually try really hard not to do. I let one person's comments about people with Down Syndrome really drag me down and, to be honest, it set the tone for my whole day. I had been following a post on Facebook in a Mum's group because there was a Mum, who had written, concerned that she was in a high risk category that her baby may have Down Syndrome, because of her blood test results. Most of the responses offered concern and some sympathy, with a few Mum's of kids with Down Syndrome saying that life with their children was positive and there was nothing to fear. Some of the comments irritated me a bit, mainly because they were uneducated, sweeping statements, but none more than the last one I read.

One woman mentioned that she had been sexually abused by someone with Down Syndrome when she was a child (actually, she said several people with Down Syndrome).  If this is indeed the case, I feel bad for her. Sexual abuse is a tragic thing to happen to anyone. She went on to say that all people with Down Syndrome are hypersexual and should be (quote) "locked away in a home".  It was then that I felt angry and upset. I felt that it was a generalisation based solely on her personal experience. I spent the afternoon doing some research (including scholarly articles), on this topic, only to find nothing which can back up her statement. Yes, some people with Down Syndrome can be hypersexual, as can some Caucasian people or Asian people. People with high IQ's can be hypersexual; so can rich people and poor people. To say that people with Down Syndrome are always hypersexual is incorrect and offensive. Yes, it is important to educate our children (with Down Syndrome) about sex, and boundaries, and what is appropriate behaviour and what is not, but it's important to educate all children about those things. It is never a good idea to tar one group of people with the same brush!
So precious

Thank goodness for our beautiful Down Syndrome family. I was able to vent to a couple of people about how these comments had affected me, and felt so much better to know I wasn't alone in my feelings. All parents are protective of their children, and parents of kids with Down Syndrome are no different.  We often have to fight for our children to be accepted into mainstream society and it is crushing that some people continue to push outdated stereotypes, or misinformation about our kids. Thank you to those beautiful people who were there for me today x x x

On a much lighter note.....

Do any parents out there have kids who are fussy eaters? Felix goes through phases where he can be extremely fussy, but at the same time can be ravenously hungry all the time. It can be tricky to work out what to give him to eat. One thing I have found, that he really loves, is when I cut a hole in the centre of a piece of bread and butter it slightly on both sides. I put that into a fry pan and then pour into the centre a mixture of egg, and grated or sliced vegetables (mushrooms, carrot, spinach, zucchini or whatever I have in the fridge), plus a bit of cheese and pepper. I cut it up afterwards and he can feed himself.  He loves it, and it's healthy and nutritious. It's my go-to meal when he's having a fussy day, and it's quick and easy!

With a face that cute you can get away with
wearing odd socks :)
My fact about Down Syndrome today:   People with Down Syndrome have the capacity to learn just like you and I. Sometimes they need a little additional help, which can require extra patience on our part (definitely character building). With repetition and consistency, people with Down Syndrome can do incredible things. Felix amazes us every day by showing us new things he can do. Sometimes he will try something over and over again before he perfects it, but the pride on his face for every little success is priceless! He is as proud of himself, as we are of him. We think he's so very clever!

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