There are a few common characteristics that people with Down syndrome have (see picture). I think this is why people with Down syndrome prefer the people first language. Because the characteristics are sometimes obvious and seeing that person as Down syndrome before the person can be judgmental. The characteristics do not define the person; every person is different. Every person has their own journey. Every person will have their ow personality. (Also, NOT ALWAYS happy!) I think one of the things on the list of what NOT to say to a mom of a child with Down syndrome is that the child “doesn’t look like it”. That doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make anyone feel better. It’s an observation...most babies you probably won’t even be able to tell the characteristics. If someone says that like it’s a good thing, it can be hurtful because, what if the child did look like it? They wouldn’t be cute anymore? Ryan is the cutest baby on the planet, even when it shows. I’m in a huge group of moms with babies with Down syndrome and EVERY SINGLE one of these babies are cuties and they all look different!! So, while we have some same characteristics, it does not mean everyone is the same. What I do appreciate is when we are at an appointment and the doctors let me tell them that he has Down syndrome, and they don’t say he doesn’t look like it - they say they suspected it but weren’t sure. But I understand when people mention it or something related, it’s all in good spirits.
One characteristic is upward slanting almond shaped eyes, Ryan has that...but he’s also got some Asian in him. The characteristic that I notice most, that others probably don’t, is the low muscle tone in his shoulders and arms.
Let’s not look at people with Down syndrome and automatically think Down syndrome or happy. Happy is the biggest myth. Ryan is the hungriest male I know.
However, we are blessed to have Ryan. Because a person with Down syndrome can really change your life. And he can’t even talk. He can barely smile! But I know when he wants to. Lol. I think that got off topic, but 🤷🏻♀️. The fact is the important part. The rest is opinion. Lol. Also, Ryan thinking about sleeping. Typical.