Wednesday, January 2, 2013

If people with Down syndrome ruled the world...

Those of you who loathe Down syndrome stereotypes may want to skip this post.  I have 30+ years of experience with Down syndrome (when I'm 85 it will still be "30+ - Ha!) and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the least bit offended by stereotypes. 

"People with Down syndrome are so happy"  - yeah, not always; but there are worse things you could be called besides happy. 

Or "People with Down syndrome are so stubborn" - definitely, but so am I, and so are plenty of other chromosomally deprived people.

The National Association for Down syndrome (NADS) has an article on their website entitled "If People with Down Syndrome Ruled the World" by Dennis McGuire, PhD, and stereotypes notwithstanding, there is so much truth to this article. When I first discovered this article, I found it so relatable and entertaining that I immediately sent it to my mom and my friend whose younger sister has Down syndrome.  If you know and love someone with Down syndrome, I'd bet you any amount of money that you identify with at least one (if not most) things on this list
Leanne LOVES Grease!  I bet she's seen it a thousand times.  Danny Zuko's dreaminess is superior to anyone who has ever walked this earth...anyone except for Richard Simmons.  Remember this post?

Leanne earns a paycheck for making dog biscuits that are sold to local banks to pass out in their drive-thrus.  I guarantee you that she takes as much pride in her job as Barack Obama takes in his.  Maybe more.

Leanne talks a lot.  I mean non-stop.  It's so excessive that I ask her to please refrain from talking in the car because I need to "focus on my driving".  She reiterates, affirms, and repeats over and over and over...so much so that my mom got in the habit of affectionately acknowledging Leanne's incessant chatter with a "whatever, Leanne."  Well, Leanne now insists my mom say "whatever" before she'll abandon the conversation and walk away.  If my mom fails to utter this critical word, Leanne will demand "Say 'Whatever' Mom!" and as soon as Mama Hop says it, Leanne accepts that the discussion is over and she goes merrily on her way. 
When I ask Leanne to stop talking in the car, she obliges - and immediately starts talking to herself.  This one has definitely been covered in a past blog post.  You can check it out here.
Remember what I said about Leanne's addiction to Grease?  Well, the same goes for The Wizard of Oz, Sister Act, and High School Musical.  She knows every song and every dance move.  Heck, Travis says he knows every song and every dance move because he's been subjected to enough of Leanne's obsession!
One of my earliest childhood memories of Leanne is her getting admonished for hugging strangers in public.  Seriously.  As a small child, she would run up to strangers waiting in line at a fast food restaurant and throw her arms around their legs and hug them.  Now that she's older and more mature, Leanne has learned the importance of "personal space" (at least as it pertains to strangers).  She holds her hands straight out in front of her and says "Personal Space!" and she remains an arms-length away from you.  While Josie is a little young to identify with most of the points in the article, she is all over this one!  Not only does Josie happily offer up hundreds of hugs daily, but she's also the queen of the "SQUEEEEEEZE!"  Maybe there are people with Down syndrome who don't like hugging, but I've never met one of them.  I'm sure this topic's been covered plenty on our blog but this video is the first one that comes to mind.
I could probably come up with an anecdote to illustrate every point in the article but that would be a LONG blog post.  I'd highly encourage you to read the rest of the article on the NADS website (click here).

22 comments:

  1. I saw that article and did a post about it myself. (Not sure when though.) So much of it is so right on, Beth also loves Grease and has seen it over and over and... We recently went to see Les Miserables and we had to make Beth promise that she wouldn't sing out loud in the theater. She knows every song by heart. But her second love isn't Richard Simmons. It's Donny Osmond. :)

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  2. This post is great! Thanks for highlighting this article!

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  3. That was an article that made Matt and I smile when we got Ellie's diagnosis!

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  4. can i request a blog post from your mom? i'd love to hear about her experience raising leanne.

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  5. I always love reading this one!

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  6. Grease, HSM, Hair Spray --My Kendall loves them all (she's 26). But we moved on from Nick Jonas to Taylor Lautner. Goodness, the posters and her t-shirt collection! But the self talk! hahaha...we love to hear her talk to her 'friends'. So creative! Love your blog. It makes my day to read about your little ones and Leanne

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  7. HMS, Grease--and Hair Spray!! (and of course Disney movies!) It's our Kendall (26) over and over! S But, we did finally move on from Nick Jonas to Taylor Lautner! Wow, the posters all over the walls...and the t-shirt collection! :-) But, hahahaha..the self talk! The best. We just love to hear her conversations with her 'friends'. Funniest is the looks from folks when she comes out of public restrooms. Your blog is great. Love reading your stories of your littles ones...and Leanne!

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  8. I don't think I realized how much you and Leanne look alike until I saw this picture of her!

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  9. Oh what a world it would be! This post put a smile on my face all day!

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  10. I would love a world filled with more hugs. That is a completely reasonable request.

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  11. I read that list last year and found myself nodding along to a lot of it! The hugging thing.......CRAZY! Owen is 3 1/2 years old and he will hug ANYONE at ANY TIME. We are going to have to work on personal space and fast. I do enjoy the (usual) look of surprise and then the smile that often comes with the random hugs.

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  12. I read that list last year and found myself nodding along to a lot of it! The hugging thing.......CRAZY! Owen is 3 1/2 years old and he will hug ANYONE at ANY TIME. We are going to have to work on personal space and fast. I do enjoy the (usual) look of surprise and then the smile that often comes with the random hugs.

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  13. I like the more hugging concept, and we need more musicals.

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  14. My daughter loves gore. The gorier, the better. Calls them scary moomies. She's great.

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    1. Sounds like Steve, my 46 year old son. He loves the Halloween movies, Nightmare on Elm Street, even Chucky, which I do try to discourage! But then, he also loves the Three Stooges, Bill Cosby, Hee Haw and Shania Twain! Some years ago, when he was into Whitney Houston, I had to pretend to call and invite her to our Thanksgiving dinner! Of course, "she" refused, so I told him that she'd said she was sorry, but she wanted to be with her family on that special holiday! (May I be forgiven for this fabrication to save myself from his endless requests for me to call and invite her.)

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    2. That's hilarious! It sounds like something my mom would do. Heck, we're already having imaginary phone conversations with Usher around here!

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  15. My 27 yr old son has seen the new James Bond movie, Skyfall at least four times so far ... He smiles and says 'I'm just lovin' it!'. It might overtake 'The Rock' as his all time favorite - he has worn out a videotape and one DVD of that one.

    I think you could get any group of family members together, provide a copy of Dennis's article with a request to provide an anecdote or personal view og each point, and you'd have a two day conference, filled with laughter.

    Jill

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  16. My 27 yr old son has seen the new James Bond movie, Skyfall at least four times so far ... He smiles and says 'I'm just lovin' it!'. It might overtake 'The Rock' as his all time favorite - he has worn out a videotape and one DVD of that one.

    I think you could get any group of family members together, provide a copy of Dennis's article with a request to provide an anecdote or personal view og each point, and you'd have a two day conference, filled with laughter.

    Jill

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  17. I found myself laughing out loud as I read this post! So much of it resonates with me. I am the mother of Shane- a 12yo lovely adorable nerve-wracking sweet stubborn boy with DS. And as I type this, Shane is in my bedroom self-talking! He left the living room, probably because he could tell I wasn't paying too much attention to him, so its my guess he's looking at himself in the mirror. Much of what he was talking to himself about was really lines from his (NOW)favorite movie- Men in Black III.
    I love this post and I will be subscribing to your blog.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Gloria

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  18. As I read this I kept laughing aloud! My son Shane is soooo much a self-talker that if he doesn't have our attention, he just goes into my bedroom where he can watch himself talk in the mirror :) And most of what he talks about is really just bits and pieces of lines from his favorite movies. If I am not mistaken, he was rehashing Agents J's and K's dialogue from the latest Men In Black installment.

    I agree- it Shane ruled the world, everyone would only watch his favorite movies, and everyone would get hugs- long drawn out hugs where you have to laugh when you say "ok, enough!"

    Thanks for the laughs! I am gonna subscribe to this blog

    Glo

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  19. I had the honor of hearing Dr. McGuire present this piece back in 2005; he is such an amazing man. I have spoken with him a few times since then and look forward to hearing him present again in the future. If you ever get to hear him it is well worth it. It is wonderful in writing, but definitely better delivered "live" with the back stories!

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