As the mom of a child with Down syndrome, my family’s world and what we see as ‘reality’ may be different than others. This past weekend was filled with activities – a soccer game, two birthday parties and the usual running errands and of course, a trip to the playground.
She’s a Typical Kid.. With an Extra Chromosome
And with each of those events, we met knew families and were reacquainted with old friends. When we are in public, I’ve never made a big deal out of Molly having Down syndrome. She’s a typical kid… with an extra chromosome. She gets no special treatment. Ever.
I’m not looking for sympathy and I certainly don’t want anyone to feel bad for us, and especially not for Molly. However, I don’t want Molly’s disability to be the pink elephant in the room either.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
The one thing I want you to know is that it is always okay to ask questions. Whether it is about Molly specifically, Down syndrome, the special needs community, about her school – all of it. Never be afraid to talk to me. Asking questions shows that you care.
Before Molly was born, I knew absolutely nothing about Down syndrome – it was quite a crash course after her birth. In the beginning, yes – I used to cry talking to people about Molly, but now – I can’t stop talking about her. It doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation, I get excited when people ask to talk about Molly. She’s an incredible child doing pretty awesome things. And she’s pretty silly too.
Everything is Okay
If you meet a family with a child that has special needs. Treat them like you would any other family. If you have questions, ask them. I’ve never thought of it as nosy, but caring. Maybe I’m wrong – but that’s how I see it.
What do you think?