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Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's Not Always About Down Syndrome

What better time than Down Syndrome Awareness Month and blogging every day for 31 for 21 then this reminder that sometimes, it just isn't about Down syndrome?

Also, when you've been blogging for eight years, and participating in 31 for 21 for eight years, sometimes you might need to go back in your archives for a post. And that's ok.

This was originally posted in 2010.

Last week Kayla and I went in to Boston's to pick up the gluten-free pizza I ordered for her.

Kayla, being Kayla, was all over the place. Ok, not too bad this time actually, just up and down from the bench and being very talkative. So the employee at the door couldn't help but notice her.

Several minutes later the pizza was finally ready and we were on our way out.

This employee, an older teen I think, or in her young 20s (I'm not good at guessing ages!), made a comment to me about Kayla.

She said, "She reminds me of my friend's niece." I said something like, "oh she does?" She replied, "yeah she looks like her."

If you have a child with Ds and someone makes a comment like that, 99.9% of the time they are trying to tell you they know someone with Down syndrome.

As I told my mom later - it's like a 'code' phrase to say "Oh I have a sister, cousin, friend etc, that looks like her" or something along those lines.

So it felt only natural to me to reply, "Oh she has Down syndrome too?"

The employee said, "Umm, no. She has blue eyes, blond hair, and the same kind of haircut." (we had just come from getting Kayla's hair cut shorter.)


Guess I learned a lesson - it's not always about Down syndrome when it comes to my child...and that's nice to know.

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Sabrina Steyling said...

Oops indeed! :D

Katie Watson said...

Ha! Last summer my son attended camp with a little girl (without Ds) who could have been the twin sister of a friend we know with Ds. Same haircut, same build, same style glasses. I had to keep staring at her to make sure it really wasn't our friend. A good reminder for me that the characteristics we are so used to thinking of as particular to Ds are really just part of the continuum.

my family said...

haha, the same thing happened to me a few years ago. I think some people are nervous about just saying, "i know a boy with Ds" so when a man in line told me he had a nephew "like William" and went on about how they must be about the same age and they had the same color eyes, etc., I responded with "does he have Ds too?" The kind man replied with a "no" and continued with stories about the boy. From then on I don't ask :)