Saturday, October 26, 2013

Asking Questions? Please Do!

The one thing that hurts the most about raising a child with special needs, are all of the stereotypes that are out there about my child and people who believe those stereotypes.  If you learn nothing else from reading my blog, understand that everyone is different.  Just like people who don't have to live with a diagnosis hanging over their heads every day are different from one another, people who share a diagnosis are also different from one another.  And until you get to know a person individually, you have no idea what they are capable of. 

Of course it's true that individuals with Down syndrome share similar characteristics that aren't always common with the general public, but that doesn't make every individual with an extra chromosome the same person with the same strengths and weaknesses and hopes and dreams. 

Over the past few years, since I started blogging every day in October to raise awareness about Down syndrome, I realize that ALL of this information that I put out there can be so overwhelming.  I mean to someone to who doesn't live their day to day life around a loved one with a special need, it can be hard to remember all the "rules."  One thing that I never want someone to feel around me is that they have to walk on egg shells when they talk to my child or talk to me about my child.  We all make mistakes sometimes, I get that.  I don't even want to think about all of the disrespectful and inappropriate language that I have used over my lifetime.  I'm sure I would be horrified if I could look back.  But I didn't know then what I know now.  And maybe you don't know either, which is why I want to educate as many people as I possibly can.  Because you may not ever be as lucky as me to have such an awesome daughter who also has Down syndrome :)

Until you educate yourself about Down syndrome (or anything else for that matter), how are you suppose to know anything about it?  And part of educating yourself is asking questions.  ASK QUESTIONS, it's okay really!  We grow up being taught to look the other way and don't talk about why someone is doing something that we don't understand.  We are taught to just move away from the situation and pretend like we never saw anything and just go on with our own lives.  But when you, or your child, is sincere in wanting to know why my daughter does some of the things she does, and you're not just being a nosey butt who wants to simply judge me and my daughter, then stop and ask.  I would be happy to answer any questions that you have about Sophia!  Because I want to help educate others about my daughter, and provide people with accurate information, instead of  people being educated by the stereotypes that are out there about who my daughter is. 

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