Saturday, November 21, 2009

cancer son, leukemia son, aids son?

do any of these sound right to you? i'm hoping not. this is exactly what 20/20 and barbara walters said last night, but in place of cancer, leukemia, aids... they said Down syndrome... Down syndrome son. to be honest with you all, in the beginning when i heard sarah palin had a son with Down syndrome, i was really excited. excited for the world to be educated(not that i'm not trying everyday). last night there was a special on 20/20, i thought so many people able to watch/learn positive things on Down syndrome. i do feel that a few important points did get through, but there were so, so, so many misted opportunities when barbara kept saying Down syndrome son!
our children, children with Down syndrome are children first. like any other child they are unique and different and should not be labeled.
when max was first born, to hear people say it made me so mad, so i asked advice from my friends and this was what i learned, the best way to explain/educated my family, friends, and co-workers.
do you say cancer kids, leukemia kids, aids kids? so tell me, why would people say Down syndrome kids/son?
i hope 20/20 and barbara walters reads this and learn something.


  1. Totally agree! It bugs the crap out of me when people say "downs" or Down syndrome child!!!

  2. I'm right with you on this subject because I believe that it is language that is one of the strongest supports of prejudice and ignorance.

    Just recently, we received a phone call from the OT who will see Gabe at his school. I corrected her and I told her that in our home, we use language that puts Gabriel first. In my small way, I plan on doing that as many times as I have to...My dream is to live in a world where there are no language barriers between what I know my son can do and the people out there who accept labels and cannot see my son. That is my dream...

  3. I was also very disappointed in last night's Barbara Walters/Sarah Palin interview. I sent the following message to ABC through the 20/20 website,

    "Barbara Walters is a great reporter, but I as a mother of a child with Down syndrome, I was very offended that she kept referring to Trig Palin as a "Down Syndrome Child" or "Downs Baby" in tonight's interview with Sarah Palin. You should always address the person first and the health condition/disability second. For example, you wouldn't say "Cancer Girl" or "Alzheimer's Man". I have a child with Down syndrome.Please keep this in mind in future shows. It is really offensive to the DS community."

    I wanted to write more, but there was a 500 word max :(

  4. I hear just what you're saying. One would think a person with such a huge following, such as Barbara Walters, would know the correct terminology when talking about children with Down syndrome.

  5. I know. I watched last night and just loved every second of seeing Trig. He is just so sweet and cute!

  6. I thought that exact same thing. It was a great opportunity that was completely missed. shame on Barbara Walters.

  7. I did not see the interview, but from what you are saying, I agree with you 100%. What a shame...:(

  8. Oh I'm so glad I didn't see that. I still can't believe the ignorance of people when it comes to Down syndrome.