Tuesday, January 16, 2007
"The" Down Syndrome
It was over 40' today. I was OK in airconditioning at work, but at the childcare, they only have fans, so Sheena had to deal with it more than me. Sheena doesn't seem to sweat, so she can really heat up. It can happen with the DS. It doesn't help that she has red-hair and is her father's daughter who also can't stand the heat.
I have taken to calling Down Syndrome, "The" Down Syndrome. I am occasionally surprised from the way some people talk, that all they see in Sheena is the DS. She is so much more than her extra chromosome. For me, calling it "The" Down Syndrome somehow distances her from all the stereotypes, and negative associations many people have of it. The stereotypes are so strong - placid, like music, like dancing, are heavy, short etc etc. Well so far Sheena has spent 80% of her life being irritable (not placid), she does like music (as does everyone else I know), she loves happy baby dancing, she is chubby only due to the Pred Meds but is currently on her radical diet, and she doesn't look short to me, easily filling the legs of her baby clothes.
I am also surprised about the low expectations some people clearly have of her - or not really her, but of people with DS, because they don't see past it.