When a Commenter Said Kids With Down Syndrome Don’t Look Like Their Parents


I recently read a comment on a photo of a child who had Down syndrome. The comment read, “You don’t look like Down syndrome. You look like your momma and poppa.”

That comment shot me in my heart. It went on to say, “I used to feel sorry for parents who have children with Down syndrome because they won’t get to experience the excitement of their children looking like them.”

What? 

Please don’t feel sorry for me or any other family. I promise if you open your eyes and heart, you will see that our kids don’t just “look like Down syndrome.” My son has his brother’s hair. I see his eyes in his siblings and me. His hands resemble his dad’s. His attitude is from his mom, and to me his smile is brighter than the Bermuda sun. I don’t want you to see just Down syndrome. Please open your eyes and see our kids with their siblings and parents. You will learn something. You will also learn that we are not sorry and we don’t want pity.

“Oh, that poor mom.” “Oh, that poor kid.”

No!

Those kinds of comments make me stop and think of what I have ahead of me when my son goes to school. Will his friends only see his diagnosis? I hope not!

Please look past his diagnosis and know he is happy and his family is happy. Our family is just like yours.

mom with young boy, two teenage boys and teenage girl
Tanya and her children.

A version of this post first appeared on Life After Down Syndrome.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines. 

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Down Syndrome

This SunTrust Super Bowl Ad Just Might Be Our Favorite One This Year

This just might be our favorite Super Bowl commercial this year. SunTrust, an American bank holding company, has released an ad that includes a girl with Down syndrome and a man who uses a wheelchair. Both only appear for a few seconds, but it’s nonetheless a step for inclusion in the media. See the SunTrust ad below: That [...]

When a Nurse’s Letter Showed Me I Wasn’t a ‘Monster’ for Crying in the Delivery Room

To set the stage for a letter that I cherish like religion, I must give you some background information. Before my son Judah was born, I became convinced he had Down syndrome. Despite doctors disagreeing, ultrasound technicians “not seeing anything” and family and friends wondering if I needed help for my anxiety — I knew! Credit to [...]
little boy smiling while holding a babydoll

Why We Have Such Great Expectations for Our Son With Down Syndrome

When you bring a child with Down syndrome into the world, I believe you are instantly equipped with an amazing ability. You’re suddenly aware of a global underground fitness craze you never knew existed. And it’s everywhere — hospitals, doctors’ offices, schools, playgrounds, theme parks, the grocery store, you name it. It’s called Jumping to [...]

Madeline Stuart Rocks 6 High-Fashion Disney Princess Looks in Viral Video

Madeline Stuart has done it again. The world-famous model with Down syndrome is in the habit of stunning us all. This time she’s the star of a BuzzFeed video where she rocks six different Disney-inspired looks, complete with hair, make up and outfit. Stuart looks gorgeous in everything from Rapunzel’s braid to Mulan-style bangs. Check out Stuart’s Disney-inspired looks [...]