Welcome to my Rhett Talk | Kristin Daniels
I did not have the pleasure of knowing someone personally with Down syndrome until Rhett was born. Since October is Down Syndrome Awareness month, here are some things that I have learned since his wonderful arrival four and a half years ago:
- People-first language matters! Rhett has Down syndrome (not Downs), he is NOT a Down syndrome child. Ds is part of him, just like he has blue eyes and loves music, but it does not fully define him.
- Yes, many people with Down syndrome are full of joy, but they are not always happy. They have all of the same emotions as you and I.
- People with Down syndrome typically have decreased muscle tone called hypotonia. To understand what this feel like, compare getting up from a super soft couch, as opposed to standing up from a firm chair. They have to work extra hard to accomplish the same results as their peers without hypotonia.
- People with Down syndrome have to use almost twice as much energy to speak. Please be patient, as they have important things to say too.
- Lastly, adults with disabilities prefer the term “disabled” as opposed to “special needs”. It takes being intentional to change your language, but it’s worth it for those it affects and their loved ones.
Thanks for coming to my Rhett Talk during Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Stop by GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County to learn more and join in on spreading the awareness. #advocatelikeamother