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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Joys & Challenges of Marriage

A friend of mine who lives in TX sent me an article about a Dallas-area couple who are married, and both have Down syndrome.

It's an insightful article about their relationship and how it came to be - they met at the annual National Down Syndrome Convention - so neat! It's also a beautiful love story and learning to live with another person and all their idiosyncrasies.

The only part of the article that really disappointed me was about, basically, early intervention. It talks about how Austin's mom took him to Seattle "where researchers in the Experimental Education Unit at the University of Washington were trying to prove that babies with Down syndrome could learn far more than anyone had believed. They helped her teach him to crawl, then walk, then talk." So far, so good. How wonderful that those researchers believed in the potential of people with Down syndrome and wanted to prove they were capable of so much more than society thought at that time.

Then the writer goes on to say: "The average baby needs only marginal parental guidance to learn those basic tasks. But children with Down syndrome ... must be dragged through their early development. It is tedious, pain-staking work."

I hate for this paragraph to take away from the rest of the article, and what the article was really about and represented ... but, 'dragged through their early development' ... really? I've never heard any parent who had their child go through Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) describe it as being 'dragged.' They just receive therapy - that's all it is - therapy! I also wouldn't describe it as 'pain-staking' work either; at least that wasn't my experience with Kayla's ECI (now IEPs are another story! ha!)

Besides that little blip in the article I enjoyed reading about this couple, their courtship, and their married life.

There is a great photo gallery of this couple and my favorite picture is this one of them preparing popcorn to take to the movies ... it just struck me as something so completely typical! How many of us have done that exact thing!?


This picture made me laugh:

(Pictures by Andy Jacobsohn/Staff Photographer).

I wish this couple many wonderful years together!

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4 comments:

Not a Perfect Mom said...

I read this article too, and naturally that was the line I came across that bothered me too...
but then I just figured that the author doesn't know anyone personally with DS and prob got her info from the backwards info so many people do get...
Aren't these stories great though? Really make me hopeful for Brooke

Bailey's Leaf said...

That one comment gives a terrible visual. I agree, it is kind of a funky thing to say.

Love the photos, especially the one inside the fridge. :)

Mom24 said...

That's really unfortunate language to have used. I wish people would be more conscious about the choices they're making and the impact it has.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

So sweet! I hope they have a long happy life together! And uhhh yeah... Kennedy's EI years were some of the most fun actually! LOL We loved her EI and though some days therapy got tedious, I never went kicking and screaming... weird terminology there!