It's pretty funny.  Yesterday, my old college buddy and I hung out at the beach.  Kelly drove her  RV down to Seacliff Beach from Washington.  She was surrounded with a bunch of ladies and was talking with them when I walked up.  Actually, she was entertaining them as I threw in a few things such as, "Oh, Kelly tell them about how you scared Brandon straight with your prison stories.  Tell them about the "date" story".  She went along telling them the stories, but didn't add in the fact that Brandon had Down syndrome.  It was a story about how people can fool you, steal things from you and they may appear to be nice, but not all people are. They asked how old Brandon was and I'm sure they were puzzled when we said he was 19.  They were probably thinking, "Why do you have to explain this to a 19 year old?".  We finally threw that in and Kelly shifted the conversation.  It was good.    

Most people see that Brandon has Down syndrome first and either will either pity you or they will tell a story about someone they know with DS.   This picture included is one from a recent photo shoot for an upcoming Kindness book.  The photographer/writer flew here from Maryland to meet Brandon and photographed him with his paintings. It's not about Down Syndrome or random acts of kindness.  It's about people who choose to do do kind things for others.  Ann, the writer has focused on Brandon's ability rather than the fact that he has Down syndrome and I love that.  October is DS awareness month, so I'm going to educate you.  When you refer to a person always say, the person's name first and who has Down syndrome, rather than "The Down syndrome child, or he/she has Down's.  It's not PC and you would never refer to a person who has Cancer as, "The Cancer kid, John". So now you have it, person first language and make sure you see the person's ability first!

 

 

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