“People with Down syndrome are always so happy!” We hear this from everyone everywhere.
So, after the “R” word, want to take a guess as to the #2 pet peeve of those of us who have a person with Down syndrome in our lives? It’s that well-meaning exclamation, “Those Downs kids are ALWAYS SOOOOO HAPPY!!” Seriously. I have had people say this to me and I just want to reply, “Oh really? Come live a day in my flip flops, and we’ll see what you think after that!”
First of all, we aren’t going to call a child with Ds a “Downs Kid” anymore, right? But back to the point, well, I think the pictures below speak for themselves.
People with Down syndrome experience the full range of emotions just like we all do. To recognize that a person with Ds has emotions that reflect their mood, and what is going on around them, is to validate them with dignity as a person.
Ansley is joyful. Often. She gets ticked off. Often. She is disappointed and gets her feelings hurt. Sometimes. She is shocked and incredulous, delighted, burdened, fearful, jealous, on and on, sometimes all within a few moments. Just like everyone else, she is not “always happy.”
All God’s children, made in His image, more alike than different.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4
About the author: Susan Lewis Ellis grew up in Habersham County. Her parents are Rev. Furman and Jeannette Lewis of Clarkesville. Susan and her husband, David, are the proud parents of daughters Lila and Ansley. The family lives in Venice, Florida. In observance of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Susan wrote a series of articles for Now Habersham about her daughter Ansley. You can read all of her articles by clicking on the links below.