I like it. I deeply understand what they’re trying to say because I’ve experienced it. I’ve heard many well-intentioned sorrys. The societal issue at hand is that our current society loves healthy new babies. Newborn infants represent future potential. We’ve been taught that people with Down syndrome don’t have future potential or that there is something wrong with them. Sorry (that you don’t get the same dreams as other parents). Sorry (that you won’t experience the pride of other new parents). Sorry (that your child won’t amount to anything).
This ad gets that point across by having young adults with Down syndrome say all kinds of things that are shocking and inappropriate, making the point that even offensive words are better than sorry.
Here is my favorite Down syndrome PSA:
I cry every time I watch this. It’s very sweet. The goal here is to try to remove the unspoken parentheticals that follow the sorry.
What’s different between the two, really, is that “Anything But Sorry” is made for the 99% of the population (in the US at least) that aren’t affected by Down syndrome. It is indirectly for the 1% of us that are affected by it. Whereas “Dear Future Mom” is directly for the 1% affected and indirectly for the 99%.
Both ads are very human and very much speaking a message of hope.
Right now they are hard messages for me to internalize because Alice’s trajectory at this point is pretty clear and it’s not great. I don’t have a lot of hope for her independence at this point. I wish I did, but I don’t. That doesn’t mean that I stop caring or that I stop trying and working with her. I focus on life skills: shopping, planning, cooking and I hope that there things pay off a little.
I am happy to see work like this because it’s clear that people care enough to try to make the road ahead smoother for people with Down syndrome.