Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"I Don't Have Down Syndrome All The Time"

Dave Hingsburger is an advocate for those with disabilities and gives presentations on this topic fairly often. A story he wrote is featured in our book and I will post that story up in a couple days hopefully. But, in the meantime, someone posted a link to his blog and a story he had written about something he witnessed the other day. We all thought it was pretty funny and quite interesting. So, here it is:

We'd just sat down for lunch when we both heard that pronunciation of the word, 'Mother' that communicates so much. 'Muhhhhh-therrrrrr'. I glanced up and saw a frustrated and harried woman, carrying packages from the Bay and her son, a young man with Down Syndrome who was in his pre-teens.

Of course, I listened.


It seems that the mother wanted to go with him to get his food and then have him go with her to get her food, then they would eat together. Son, thought this was silly. Why doesn't she get hers, he get his, then they meet for lunch. She did an admirable job of keeping herself calm. I did an admirable job of just listening, not judging. Who knew what kind of experiences she'd had that led to this arrangement? They had been standing arguing and just before she moved again towards the court he said something that had a profound impact on me as a listener and she as a mother.

'Trouble is you think I have Down Syndrome all the time and I don't,' he said with real frustration.

She stopped again, 'What?'

'I only have Down Syndrome sometimes, when I'm learning something new or if the words are real hard. I don't have Down Syndrome the rest of the time when I'm doing what I know how to do.'

'And you don't have Down Syndrome now?' she asked.

'No, I know how to get my lunch, I buy my lunch at school all the time. I don't have someone with me all the time you know.' he was frustrated, he didn't even realize he'd said something of real importance, to me and to his mother.

'So,' she continued looking at him hard, 'you don't feel like you have Down Syndrome all the time.'

'No, most times I don't even think about it,' he said.

She said, her tiredness seemed to be gone, 'Go ahead, we'll find a table after we've got our food.'

They disappeared from view.

Joe and I looked at each other. I said to him, 'That kid should teach classes to parents of kids with Down Syndrome.'

Makes me wonder what goes on in Osiyyah's head sometimes. Since his speech is delayed, he doesn't always speak his mind, but he does so plenty of times. There are times though, that he'll look at someone with a look like, "Hello, I can do that!" And you know what, he can do a lot and he can do so much more than we realize sometimes. Like when he was in the kitchen one time with a cook book and trying to "make something", haha.

Have a good night!



Grizzly Bear said...

What a great post. He really did say something that would impact all of us.

Loved this post!

Looking Up said...

I loved this post. I know that I have been guilty of underestimating my son at times. This is a great reminder to us all. :)

M.Hilton said...

Thanks for sharing that!

Bulldogma said...

Ooooo - I LOVE that story! Thank you so much for sharing!

Karien Prinlsoo said...

It is beautiful and touching and true in a sense. Can I or will you please share it on downsyn?

Qadoshyah said...

Yes, I will share it on Downsyn - thanks for the reminder, Karien!

Unknown said...

Love this post and this story. Wish I could have heard it in person. Thanks for sharing. Any chance I could have permission to re-post it at my new site? Let me know if that's OK. Thanks, Trey, editor, www.downsyndrometoday.com

Qadoshyah said...

Yes, that is absolutely fine to repost it! I'd suggest you ask Dave Hingsburger to make sure he's fine with it too, but I doubt he'll mind.

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