Preconceived Ideas

I don't know why, but I am still taken by surprise when people reveal their prejudice regarding Christine.

Maybe it's because it's so far away from my thinking now. When she was first born all I could see in her face was the DS. I would have been hard pressed to identify her as one of my own children, even though she is number 7. Now, 8 years later, I have a hard time seeing the DS, not only in her, but others with DS as well. It has disappeared into the back ground of my day to day living.

So when we were shopping for a birthday gift for an upcoming party she was invited to, I was caught off guard, not just once, but twice!

It happened to be Homecoming week in our schools and Christine is on the junior Cheer Squad. As is the custom, the girls all wear their uniforms to school to show team spirit. Not taking time to change, that is what she wore shopping as well.

One very nice lady, wanting to offer her public support to us, commented on the uniform. But instead of assuming she was actually a cheerleader, she assumed ( despite the very official look of the uniform with our school logo etc) that Christine was pretending to be a cheerleader.

Now I know she didn't mean any harm and I am sure she was trying to be nice. But I was offended and since it surprised me, mama bear took over and I blame her for the sarcastic response I lobbed at the unsuspecting woman. She felt the sting and immediately started to justify her comments by saying it's October and with Halloween being so close she just assumed Christine was pretending to be a cheerleader... blah blah blah......I had stopped listening.

I was still pondering this interaction as we were walking out of the store when yet another well meaning woman made the SAME assumption!

I don't mean to be cold or cruel, but I fail to see how placing people with a disability into a little box is supportive? They had already decided she was not capable of being a cheerleader and was merely living out her dreams within the realm of her own private world,when nothing could be further from the truth.

Carol

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