When it comes to dealing with people that suffer from disease which cannot be cured such as Down syndrome, we almost always change our behavior completely. What do we mean by that? Well, we start talking in a very polite manner, afraid not to offend people even in the slightest way. However, that may look like we are putting those people in a totally different category and not act around them like they are our equals, but by pitying them, which does more harm than good.
How should we act?
On a worldwide spectrum, Down’s syndrome is by far the most common genetic disease. Children that are born with this disease usually suffer from some form of deformity to their facial features, which can affect not only their eyes, their noses or their ears. Deformations can also occur to their organs, such as their lungs, their intestines or even their hearts.
When we think of people born this genetic disease we first think of them as being someone that is first a person with Down syndrome and second an individual with a set of hopes, beliefs and passions. We tend to put the disease on the first place and that should change.
An example that best illustrates this scenario is the case of Sarah Merriman. Sarah is a 26-year old woman who has finished her training in catering. She even appeared on television on the famous show “Kitchen Impossible”. Now she has a stable job of being a waitress in a hotel in London. When reporters talked to her she said that her disease is only a small part of her but that she is a complete person. She is happy with what she has achieved in life and she does not want anyone to feel sorry for her just because she has Down syndrome. Good job, Sarah, more people should listen to what you have to say!