Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Magical Chromosomes???

When I was getting ready to go the the periodontist this morning (yay! not:), I heard a piece on the News about "Tim's Place", a restaurant in Albuquerque, NM.  This was one of those "feel good" pieces you sometimes hear on the news.  The hook concerning Tim's place is that the owners' son, Tim, has Down Syndrome and offers free hugs to all of his customers.  He is evidently at over 32,000 and counting.

Now, while I think this is a great concept and I would certainly go to Tim's for the camaraderie and one of his famous hugs, I kind of resented what the news commentators were saying about Tim.  Evidently they felt that Tim was so loving and friendly because of that mysterious extra chromosome he just happens to have.  You know, that extra friendly, loving chromosome.

I resent this supposition because it seems to be saying that the addition of a single chromosome automatically means that you are going to be a loving, happy individual.  There is no respect for the individual himself.  No respect for how his family nurtured him and raised him or how his life experiences manifested themselves on his personality.  In short, you are basically saying he has no control, no self determination on the kind of person he is or will be.  Ouch!  That's pretty condescending.

Personally, as a teacher, I know some kids with Down Syndrome who can be kind of cranky, even spoiled!  Horrors, that would mean they could be just as wonderful and awful as any other kid.  That would also mean that if they are horrible, it doesn't mean that every child with Down Syndrome is horrible.

No two persons with DS is any more alike than any two persons without it.  Yes, there are some medical issues and learning styles that are more common with individuals with DS, but there are other people without DS who have some of these same medical issues and learning styles.

 Stop using that broad brush people!


  1. important point for people to understand as the put such a wonderful story into the box of "that's just how 'they' are"! Thanks for posting!

  2. I'm with you! My son is missing chunks of two chromosomes, and we often hear 'oh, he's lovely ~ is it like downs? They're very loving too'. Nope, he's a child ~ sometimes he's loving and affectionate, sometimes he's a right pain in the you~know~what ... Just like my other two children in fact, who have the standard array of genetic material!
    Found you through love that max ~ will definately be reading more of your posts when time allows!

  3. Yes that's one of those stereotypes I dislike! Kayla is moody; especially since she seems to be going through puberty right now too! Today she wasn't very kind to the helpers at bike camp ... not a happy go lucky attitude all the time!

    Thanks for your recent comment on my blog post about what makes her special :)


Show some love and comment, please?