I attended an event recently. This lovely young lady came to me and we began talking about the day’s events. I noticed she kept looking over to several young men who were smiling and definitely had an agenda. Finally she asked me “Why do you use your hand? Are you retarded too?” My response was ” you are not retarded, you are an intelligent, and articulate young lady,” Her response was she had down syndrome and the young men wanted to know what your problem was and if you were retarded? “No, we do not use that word and they must be ignorant and drunk.” Using my coping skill I ignored the epitome of ignorance and avoided an upsetting conversation.
Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder which occurs in one out of eight hundred births. Basically it is the 21st gene that has been extra genetic material attached to it which causes physical and intellectual development (Down Syndrome Association). Down syndrome children and parents have made great strides, they are increasingly integrating into society;mainstream classrooms; working and ordinary activities like everyone participate in during their life.
The courage, patience, and emotional rollercoaster ride of their parents is beyond believe. It made my stroke/aphasia feel like pebble on the road of life. Some people forget we are all in this world together and need to accept differences.