Awhile back I forward on a wonderful post by a another mother of a precious little girl named, Rowenna. The blog talked about not referring to children with the diagnosis of Down Syndrome as “Downs Child” or “Down Child” or any other way where the diagnosis is the child and not something the child has.
Simply put, you wouldn’t call a child with chicken pox “Chicken Pox Kid”, an over weight woman as “Obese Woman” or a boy with cerebral palsy “CP boy”. These diagnosis don’t make the individual. The individual HAS the diagnosis.
That being said, after posting this particular blog, I received a comment from a friend of mine from Mabel’s Labels who mentioned a situation she was in where a mom of a child with Down Syndrome was head counting her kids and said “now, where’s my little downsy? oh, there he is”… ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?
My friend commented that she was very taken back. She has experience with autism and made the comment that she has never heard anyone use the “hey, where’s my little autistic” phrase.
My biggest frustration with having a child with Down Syndrome is society’s genuine ignorance to these individuals, their capabilities and inturn how to change these perceptions. To have a parent call her child that in a public forum makes me sick to my stomach.
Person first. Diagnosis last. It’s not complicated; just common everyday respect.
This past weekend I had the privilege of meeting another family of a child with Down Syndrome while out celebrating Canada Day in true Club 21 style at the Goderich Canada Day Parade.
Please understand, this family is very supportive and excepting of their child and his diagnosis but still some family members are using inappropriate language. Referring to having “one of those kids” or “Downs kids” etc.
I have two big problems when I find myself in these situations. First, I get so hung up on the language they are using that I can’t hear the actual conversation. Even though I know they are trying to support our kids, their choice of words is so insulting and segregating that it negates all that they are trying to say. Second, I don’t know how to begin to correct their error without insulting them because again I realize in this case there is no ill intent. Give me a blog to vent on, fine. Let me rant on twitter, great. But put me face to face in a situation that’s supposed to be fun and positive and I clam up.
Teaching “People First Language” is great and very important but how do you have that conversation in a face to face situation without insulting the uneducated speaker?
And for all those parents who should know better, I challenge you to choose your words carefully. You never know who may be listening.
Yesterday I was thrilled to be apart of the first ever Club 21 Canada Day Parade Float!
With the help of a tractor & wagon from one of our farm families, some strategically placed Canadian flags and a few not so subtle Down Syndrome Awareness signs, we loaded up some of our kids and families and joined the festivities as we made our way around the Square in Goderich for the annual Canada Day Parade!
The float was a great success and more importantly, we all had a fantastic time!
HAPPY CANADA DAY from Club 21 – Huron County!
From my family to yours, Happy Canada Day Weekend. We hope you’re enjoying the sun.
Another holiday that has been turned into a candy saturated day. Another holiday that I find myself scrambling to avoid the sugar. I refuse to allow my children to eat candy by the truck load and I won’t accept the toys they don’t need, use or want.
This year, since we’d already been to a Easter Egg hunt where too much sugar was acquired (candy that will no doubt still be here by the time Hallowe’en rolls around), I decided I will not add to this insanity. But what could I do?! I can’t let the Easter Bunny forget them. I wanted EB to do something but I didn’t want him to feel pressured or think I was demanding any extra effort on his part, so I did a little research and came up with some helpful suggestions from some twitter friends and a few creative websites. I DM’d him some ideas I thought just might work and this is what the Easter Bunny came up with for our family…
On Saturday night we swirled some eggs with cousin Cassie and hoped the Easter Bunny would be impressed with our awe-inspiring egg painting skills!
And Sunday morning we found this…
Empty baskets with a single note attached…
All that was needed to do was follow the clues on a Bunny Styled Scavenger Hunt and Easter would be saved!
A cookie for each of our family of five and a clue were found at a tree that had been dressed up for the holiday!
Then off to another tree in our yard where the bird feeder was found to have strange food tucked inside. (And yes, it’s chocolate but surprisingly our son gave his away to his cousin who came for a visit later this morning.)
Looking for a “bright door where a treat from a guide would be found”.
These cookies were for Daddy because he was disappointed no Girl Guide came to our house selling cookies this year.
A ‘delivery’ was left in a ‘normal’ sort of place but alas, it was another gift for daddy. Then off to the ‘ride that Sadie loves best’ (her slide) to find a spring gift to get Mommy’s Garden started.
The next clue set us farther from the house to Daddy’s workshop in the barn.
The search at the barn took a little more effort but Daddy finally found our “Hot off the press” collection.
Then around to the back to find the ‘animal that likes our grass long’ to look for a gift to help the summer along.
After finding three new ball gloves (that I don’t have pics of) sitting on our John Deere lawn mower, we were set back to the house to look for an envelope in a window.
With a little help from Daddy, Sadie found this gift. It was a gift card for dinner at one of our favourite places to eat.
Next we were set into the house to were the ‘whales like to stay’ (bath toy drawer) to find a surprise that we could use on Monday.
Tickets to go see a movie!
Then back on the hunt we were sent to the basement to look for some more family entertainment. They found a bag full of stuff to make tie dye shirts. One for Daddy, one for Mommy and Peanut, Ladybug and Bear! (again no pic)
Our final clue took us back upstairs to the place where we found our first note from EB and there where our empty baskets had been sitting were three pails o’dirt with one easter treat! (My peanut tells me that the Easter Bunny’s magic allows such tricks.)
Thank you to the Easter Bunny for all his hard work. We had a morning full of fun & excitement and our afternoon was saved with no sugar caused tantrums. Both Mommy & Daddy are grateful for it all!