Mom Asks Parents to Teach Kids About Inclusion After Sharing Video of Daughter With Down Syndrome Being Teased
On Monday, Morgan Sherrill of Seattle, took her daughter, Laylah, who has Down syndrome, to a splash pad. Sherrill decided she wanted to record her daughter playing, and ended up catching more than just some kids having fun at a splash pad. While recording, she saw how the other little girls playing and waiting under the water bucket openly moved away from her daughter, stared and whispered.
Sherrill told The Mighty she wasn’t expecting to capture a moment like this on video, yet the experience was not new. “This happens daily,” she said.
Editor’s note: The Mighty is not linking to Sherrill’s original Facebook post and has blurred the faces of the children in the video to protect their privacy.
Returning home from the splash pad, Sherrill shared the video on Facebook asking parents to teach their children about disabilities. Within two days of posting her video, it’s been shared more than 1,500 times and watched by more than 190,000. Parents of kids with Down syndrome and other disabilities have shared Sherrill’s video echoing her sentiments.
Sherrill hopes parents use her video as an opportunity to have a conversation with their children about disability and inclusion. “We are all equal, some people just need extra help,” Sherrill explained.
Sherrill emphasized that although some people may watch the video and think her daughter was not bothered by the incident, they can’t know how Laylah felt in that moment. “She knows right from wrong,” she said, “she knows when someone is mean or rude.”
“Watching your child in this particular position and know that there is only so much you can do for her will always hurt,” she added. “It hit me in the feels more than ever.”
Sherrill has asked people not to criticize the children nor their parents, as she believes the best way to create change is by keeping an open dialogue and allowing for teachable moments. “We fight every day for inclusion” she said, “it’s so much more helpful to us if her peers are aware of her fight as well.”
Images and video provided by Morgan Sherrill