Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part LXXIII: It Is a Different Time

Copyright © 2014 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.

Tonight was Science Fair. This was a challenge in that we had to help Alice select a project that she would understand as much as possible, would participate in, and which she would enjoy.  We gave her a selection and she picked the question, “Do big seeds grow faster than small seeds?” This was good because she could participate in a lot of the steps: picking seeds, measuring soil, planting them, watering them, etc.  She did a good job, even though I’m sure that she didn’t really get a lot beyond the process of taking care of seedlings.

Tonight was the Science Fair and Alice was happy to go and see all her friends and interact with them.



I saw classmates of Alice running up to her, honestly happy to see her. I saw friends giving her unsolicited high fives. I saw friends interested in her project.

And this is truly a different time.  36 years ago, in my youth, this kind of open friendship with kids with cognitive disabilities just didn’t happen (not to mention that you wouldn’t see them in your classroom to start with). This is a tremendously good thing for everyone and it’s so nice seeing humanity behaving at its best.

And I’m also seeing it in my son. He’s been behaving in a very kind, considerate manner where he honestly wants to do nothing but help his sister. He clearly sees that she has trouble with things and wants to help her out.

Alice is loving it.

So much so that tonight she declared that she was going to marry Stuart.  This lead to a long discussion about how that’s very sweet, but brothers and sisters can’t get married. Alice decided to be in a contrary mood and said, “Daddy, first, ” which counting on her fingers, “CHANGE THE LAW. Second, I marry Stuart.” She kept coming back to this cogent argument, but sorry, it doesn’t stick.

0 replies on “Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part LXXIII: It Is a Different Time”

Random, but I work for The United Arc up in Turners Falls and we’re having a camp for siblings of children with disabilities this April break–let me know if you think your son might be interested! (I love your blog–I work with folks in more group activity settings so it’s nice to get a parent perspective.)

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