This doesn’t grate

Our little Alfie is a human being with the diagnosis of Downs Syndrome.

A lot of other human beings will nod knowingly and tell us enthusiastically how they  “Are all so loving – aren’t they?”

That grates.

Some other human beings will nod knowingly and offer their condolences – that it is “Such a shame.”

That also grates.

Any child with Downs Syndrome is on a “scale”.  Any human being with anything is on a “scale”: height … weight … colour … academic prowess … athletic prowess … emotional prowess … age … anything is on a scale … none of us are identical.

Little human beings are little human beings.  And when a “condition” means they are Facebook liked and shared for being “cute” with their “condition”, liked and shared for doing nothing special but looking “cute” doing nothing special because of their “condition” – that grates too.  It makes them their “condition” and not the “human beings” we all are – all of us on “a scale” of whatever “scale” we happen to have been born with.

But this Facebook video really caught my attention.  Three children.  One mother.  One family.  Four human beings together … 

Amanda Bowman Gray:  “My daughter Lydia was watching Bo while I was in the shower. Came out to this. If she didn’t have a guitar I don’t know if she would know how to babysit him. This is her go to. It’s proof that music therapy works. Bo is 25 months old and has a 12 word vocabulary. Every word he has learned has been through music and singing.”


This doesn’t grate.


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