I had an interesting conversation today, that included a statement that I have heard no less than 100 times since we found out Gracie would be born with Down syndrome.
It goes a little something like, “oh! THEY are so sweet…THEY are complete angels.”
Now, I am in total agreement that Gracie is super sweet and an angel. However, those are just characteristics of Gracie. Other people with Down syndrome may also have similar characteristics, but so do people who do not have Down syndrome.
It’s this whole “People First” language thing, that I blogged about here.
When Gracie is lumped into a THEY, then she loses being just our Gracie, and becomes another person with Down syndrome. Does that make sense?
I absolutely know that people say this with the best intentions and are simply trying to find a common ground with me and be supportive, and I can assure you I have said that in the past. As I am growing and learning more though, I am understanding how important it is to simply talk about the person, and not concentrate on their disability and lump everyone that has something similar into one group.
Thanks for learning along with me, and sharing in our journey.